10 ways iPads are used in schools

The power and portability of Apple’s iPad line have been catching the attention of progressive educators; some schools have actually begun distributing the devices to students and making them a major part of the curriculum. Here are ten of the ways that the iPad is making waves in the modern classroom.

  1. To Replace Textbooks – The lightweight iPad not only eliminates the need for heavy, bulky book bags; there are also apps that allow teachers to design and distribute their own textbooks to their students.
  2. As a Collaborative Project Aid – Group projects and collaborations are made significantly easier by utilizing the iPad. Students can work together from home or while in the same room. Easy sharing and editing can help to foster a sense of teamwork.
  3. Collecting and Storing Student Information – One of the iconic pieces of teacher’s equipment is the grade-book; the often leatherette-covered volume required manual entry of grading information. With the iPad, teachers can manage all required student data quickly and efficiently.
  4. Bringing the Computer Lab into Every Classroom – Instead of a trek down the hall to a dedicated computer lab, kids that attend a school with an iPad program have the power of the computer lab at their fingertips.
  5. “Go-Green” Paper Saving Programs – Eliminating grade books, text books and many other paper-based products by distributing iPads to every student is a powerful “go-green” initiative, and has been one of the greatest sticking points for proponents.
  6. Interactive Learning – Instead of simply reading about a subject, students can use their iPads to locate pictures, diagrams and even to watch related video content. This interactive approach to learning may help disinterested kids become more excited about learning.
  7. Homework Planners and Scheduling – Teachers can create a syllabus, share homework assignments and classroom schedules with their students and coordinate projects, all from their iPads. This organized approach can often prove beneficial for kids that crave structure, as well as helping less orderly children keep everything in one place. Instead of several notebooks filled with information dedicated to each class, students can store all of their information in one place.
  8. Creating a Digital Portfolio – Creating a portfolio of classroom work has never been easier than it is for kids with access to iPads. The ability to carry their work with them and to transfer it from one digital device to another is another way that the iPad is making inroads into the education system.
  9. Taking the Classroom Home – Students participating in an iPad-based curriculum are no longer dependent on the classroom for all of their needs; even situations such as collecting homework during an illness are a snap when the work can be sent directly to the student’s iPad.
  10. Virtual Field Trips – An actual field trip to the pyramids may not be feasible for most school kids, but the iPad can often serve as the next best thing. Students can immerse themselves in these virtual field trips, which all take place from the safety of the classroom.

This article was written as a guest post from Christine Kane at internetserviceproviders.org

Teach your kids to be an Entrepreneur through Videogames


Games are a great opportunity for kids to trial and error a range of concepts and test concepts in a controlled and safe environments.  They really offer young entreprenuers a chance to test there ideas, dedication and strategies though play.  Below are a couple games that will let your junior Donald Trump's see how they fair in the business world without losing a dollar in the real world.

The Lemonade Game is aimed at making the most money in thirty days from selling drinks to thirst customers over summer.  Be sure not to buy too much produce if the weather is going to be pretty cool and don't price yourself out of the market.

In Fedville, kids can open a virtual savings account at the local bank and watch their money grow. As they learn their way around town, they can earn trivia cards. There are also movies about saving money, and kids can virtually shop at local stores, but only if they have earned enough money first.

I would love to hear if you have any more suggestions

TOP 5 Educational iPad and iPhone Games

Don't forget to take a look at our recent article highlighting the top 5 educational games available on the iPad, iPod and iPhone.  We would love to hear you thoughts and suggestions.  Check it out here.

Hundreds of Educational Games for Free

Just a quick one.  Play and learn is a great little MindMap for Educational games related to over 30 curriculum areas.  It gets updated regularly and could not be easier to use.  Feel confident that your students can use this site without wasting time on inappropriate content.  Check it out here.

Nintendo to target the Education Market with its new DS XL

The Nintendo DS / Gameboy is the biggest selling video game console in history and would be a common item in the school bags of many students.  The problem Nintendo has had is convincing teachers and parents the DS could actually be a learning tool and to give them a reason to get them out of their bags.

The Brain Training Academy series launched somewhat of phenomenon in the portable gaming marketplace and all of the sudden mum, dad and Grandma wanted a DS to sharpen their minds, Play Sudoku and various other puzzle games.  The DS instantly gained some credibility with the intellectual market as a result.

Well Nintendo have obviously taken note of this trend and set to capitalise on it further with the Nintendo DS XL.

The DS XL sports a screen double the size of it's predecessor, (Maybe to help Granny  see here Sudoko a little clearer?) it has built in Brain Training Games, Dictionary and a range of other DS Apps that are aimed at  non traditional gaming markets.  It sports a better camera, improved touch and stylus functionality and still offers all of the web browser and Wi-Fi connectivity of the DSi.

It will be available in March 2010 for what I can only assume will be slightly more expensive or the same as the DSi.  

In light of the recent disappointment of the iPad I am sure Nintendo is hopeful this DS maybe can break into the educational market with it's new features.  Watch this space and I look forward to hearing your feedback.

The Top 25 iPhone games

IGN the bible for all that is videogaming has recently realeased their top 25 iPhone games list.  I know a great deal of schools that have purchased the iPod touch for student use and if we want to throw more money at Apple for absolutely nothing new then we also have the iPad to consider. that these games wil function on   Many of these games in this list by the nature of the iPhone / iPod interface contain educational, strategy and puzzle elements.  I am sure this might help make some decisions regarding educational gaming apps a little easier.  Check it out here.

Educational Possibilities of Second Life

I'll be the first to admit that I don't really get Second Life.  I have tried the free component of it a year ago and it didn't really grab me as I have enough trouble trying to keep my first life in order and I quickly discovered that Second Life is not a Video Game as such although I can see the escapism, experimentation and adventure it offers users much like a traditional video game.

However Brett Bixler and a large number of other Educators have invested a gret deal of time and effort into exploring the educational potential of Second Life as an educational tool.  I have seen a colleague have some success using Second Life to help her students learn Indonesian.  She set up a school server that replicated some Indonesian Cities and let them use the environment to communicate in the native tongue and the kids loved it.

Brett has written a great paper on the potential of Second Life as an Educational Tool and explores the pro's and cons it offers.  It is very thorough and non-biased and could assist others experimenting in this field.

I would love to hear from others who have experimented with Second Life and hear their successes or failures.