Friday, March 30, 2012

Teaching with Notability

For the past 3 weeks, I've been teaching (about 75% of the time) using my ipad + Apple TV + Notability app.  I normally teach from a tablet pc, which requires that I stay tethered to the RGB cord and stationary at the front of my room.  What I've been able to do with the ipad + Apple TV is instruct from ANY point in the room, which I absolutely LOVE!
Other key points from my experience:
-I use the paper features of Notability to take notes with  my students as I teach
-I import pdf's of all documents necessary for class from my DropBox account.  My pdf's (usually documents I've created in Word) then combine into my notes for the day.
-I auto-sync my Notability notes back to my DropBox account for safe-keeping.  This way, if a student misses class, I can email the file directly to him/her as a pdf--very slick!
-Once in awhile, our wireless will kick me off from the network, requiring me to re-connect/re-mirror to the Apple TV.  We're still hammering out some networking issues with the Apple TV's, but this has not been too problematic.
-The ipad is a little smaller than my tablet pc, which takes some getting used to, especially writing while holding the ipad, but is not a huge deal.

Talking to Yourself in the Future

Today is our last day of school before Spring Break.  For my 7th grade math students, we are in the midst of an important unit on division, ratio's, and proportions.  Instead of surrendering to the usual "day before spring break" movie, I wanted my students to learn how to solve proportions (a pretty easy skill--just cross multiply and solve!).
After taking some time with some direct instruction on solving proportions, I told my students that they would now talk to themselves in the future.  They gave me puzzled looks.  I explained that they probably wouldn't be thinking about proportions for the next 10 days (or 240 hours, or 14,400 minutes, or 864,000 seconds) and this new concept might just leave their mind.  So, I gave them each a proportion to solve and record (explaining/narrating all steps) using Educreations.
To begin next class (the dreaded first day after Spring Break), I'll have them view their own screencast to bring them back into the world of proportions.  We'll see how it goes!