Our Best Buy dollars bought 9 iPads for our classroom and my first impression: totally cool!
Each morning, each table group is given one or two iPads that they use throughout the day. Beginning at 9:00, students enter the room and check the iCal for the day’s events, this way they get straight to work without wasting the first ten minutes of the day, which is so common otherwise.
At present, the students and I are learning to use Pages ($9.99) from the iWork suite. I, for one, love it! Students can download documents from my .mac account and can also store their work there and retrieve it from anywhere. I look forward to learning Keynote ($9.99) as well.
As before, Safari is in heavy use for research purposes and Google is a good first source of information. Students are working on their ability to evaluate resources as good sources of information or weak ones.
Our paper dictionaries have become completely outmoded as students make such heavy use of the digital documents. I have found that with the digital resources available students are much more likely to look words up than they are with paper. Even when spelling doesn’t “count” students like to have things written correctly.
I have also found technology to be invaluable for drill and practice activities such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I look forward to implementing them as a resource for our students who want to work on problem solving.
After one week, I still feel like I have so much to learn, but I am enjoying the challenge!