QPAT workshop – OurPads: increasing student engagement…

November 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm
filed under Professional Development, Tech

Resources for the QPAT workshop –> OurPads: Increasing student engagement and enhancing learning

Where we talk about how we have started to use iPads at the Nova Career and Education Centre of the New Frontiers School Board.

**updated on Sunday, November 25, 2012 – Summary and feedback of Friday’s workshop, including Ali’s Math apps**

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Visual presentation made with Haiku Deck

I presented our story and talked about our main learnings:
When introducing new teaching tools be sure to include a lot of teacher-centered PD, allowing time to address teacher concerns with the hows and whys of using new tools, the fear of changing teacher roles, working through discomfort with technology, and allowing for teachers to learn how to use the tools in a meaningful way.

iPads are tools to help teachers bring great pedagogy to their students and learning environments. Don’t throw a bunch of iPads into a classroom and expect magic to happen.

iPads are best used when they are recognized as individual user devices. Don’t try to use them and control them in the same way that you would paper workbooks or computers and laptops. You can not control which apps a student chooses to use on the iPad (beyond limiting the apps you put on it…but even then, a savvy student can download whatever app they want.) What I find great about a tablet is that the apps allow us to offer much more individualized and interactive learning experiences so students are generally more engaged in active participation than evasive techniques.

As opposed to focusing on specific apps, I like to look at what is already available on the iPad that can enhance learning. Specifically, the video capabilities are fabulous ways to practice langauge, understanding, performance tasks in a safe way.

Feedback: We received lots of great feedback, including some that wished we had more time (as did I! I will take that into account for next time. One hour is just not enough time to present AND respond to the needs in the room!) and some that seemed to be asking for more elementary school level apps. As outlined in the workshop description, the session was intended to showcase what we are doing at Nova – an adult education centre. So we don’t really work with elementary level apps. However, I’ve included links below to some blogs and other places that do showcase elementary level apps. I hope that you all made it to the literacy workshop that followed mine, apparently they did highlight quite a few apps for lower levels :)

Ali’s Top 10 Math apps – they range in price from free to $7.00. Only 1 requires wifi to use (Ace).
Educreations – great for preparing lessons that students can refer to on their own time or if they need another listen to/look at the explanation or if they missed the class. (I also like its potential for student-created lessons…if a student can create a lesson on a topic, they get it.)

Converter – a unit converter for many, many different types of units

Algebra Touch – touch and see how algebra works.
Tritutor – search for this in your app store. The links I found all point to the US app store, which won’t work for us but it can be found on the app store from your iPad.
Ace – High School Math Algebra (require wifi). Step-by-step video examples for a variety of high school algebra topics.
HUP Polynomials – more videos…

MathGraph – interactive app for graphing circles, elipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas
WinPossible Geometry Tutor – (from the website) Having difficulty with some parts of Geometry or just need a refresher course? Then this video series is for you. With 15 MAJOR CATEGORIES and 81 VIDEO LECTURES totaling over 7 HOURS of lessons, Video Geometry Tutor covers all the essential areas you need to know about Geometry.
Unit Circle

Math Aptitude – Looks like a comprehensive math learning app for multiple topics (high school). The link goes to the US store, you may need to search for it within the Canadian store or directly from your iPad.

Elementary Level Resources

iPad Apps for Elementary Schools on List.ly
Apps in the Elementary Classroom on Edutopia
Best Educational iPad Apps for Elementary School Aged Kids on ClassyChaos
Top 10 iPad Apps for Elemntary Teachers by Wesley Exon at Not Another History Teacher Blog

My Adult Education Blogs…


Teacher Centered PD

Teacher Centered PD in Tracy Rosen (tracyrosen)

Other Resources…
Rosetta Stone


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  1. Teacher Feature: Ali Ghassemi’s Top 11 iPad Math Apps (NFSB, Nova) «

    on February 5, 2013 at 7:07 am

    […] engagement with iPads, I’d highly encourage you take a look at Tracy’s detailed blog post from her education focused blog, Leading from the Heart. Without any further ado, here are […]

  2. Teacher Feature: Ali Ghassemi’s Top 11 iPad Math Apps (NFSB, Nova) |

    on August 7, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    […] engagement with iPads, I’d highly encourage you take a look at Tracy’s detailed blog post from her education focused blog, Leading from the Heart. Without any further ado, here are […]

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