App-Astra: the iPad reaching it's potential

App-Astra: the iPad reaching it's potential

Ad astra” is a Latin phrase meaning “to the stars”.  This blog post summarises by student-focused session at Slide2Learn 2013, encouraging a positive view of the tablet for senior students who are particularly reluctant to adopt the technology late in their high school journey.  Ways will be suggested for using ICT to assist students in their studies, save time and improve retention of content.  Also discussed will be an essential range of apps that students can use on their iPads to help engage, organise and work effectively.

An iPad is not trying to be, or replace a laptop

If Apple had their way all students who have, both, an iPad and a Laptop.  Many senior High School students have previously been given a Laptop and are now being told their new iPad will replace the bulky Laptop they once had.  The iPad is designed to engage, disseminate and engage content.  If the iPad were to replace anything in the world of education it would more likely be Textbooks and Worksheets.

The iPad is a Textbook on Steroids!

When selling an iPad to senior students you should consider the following phrase.. “an iPad is a Textbook on Steroids”.  iPads have built in accessibility features which enable the device to stand head and shoulders above any other physical textbook or resources.  Not one, can the device bring additional context to resources with web accessibility, embedded videos and hyperlinks, but, it can also allow students to bookmark, create notes, share content, search the resource and make use of the in-built dictionary.

Students can also reduce reading fatigue by dimming the brightness of the screen, increasing the font size or inverting the colours and contrast.  If all else fails students can even have the device read the text to them.  This will engage multiple intelligences and help in the retention of information.

Study Smarter NOT Harder

Many High School students are not aware of their learning style, let alone how to study efficiently.  They are bewildered that they can retain every quote from Family Guy but are unable to remember the events which lead to the WW2.  Students can learn to combine audio and visual stimulus to create interest, engage them and help commit content to long-term memory.  Using their iPads they can create visually stimulating notes such as infographics and concept maps.

Finding Help

Students often find it difficult or embarrassing to ask teachers when they don’t understand a concept.  For this reason it is important that students know where they can locate useful sources of information which will assist in their studies.  Useful websites such as Khan Academy, YouTube and Vimeo can provide additional resources for students who need a concept explained in a different way.

Presentation Slides

Below are the slides from the presentation.

Technology-enabled Assessments

Technology-enabled Assessments

EDU Essentials List

EDU Essentials List