Sunday, March 20, 2011

I applied for a grant.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Back in December, my department chair talked me into applying for a grant my BOE was offering (called an iGen project). You could ask for a SMARTBoard, 2 netbooks, a digital camera with video capabilities, or 2 iPads. I already have a SMARTBoard in my classroom, and I was unfamiliar with Apple products (really--my husband teaches computer classes and is a Windows man, so we don't "do" Macs at my house). However, I felt that the apps I could get with the iPads would be something new that I could inject into my classes. I found out in January that I was one of just two in my county to receive the iPads (others didn't get their first choice, so I feel pretty lucky).

I finally got my iPads last Monday. I didn't have a chance to play with them until the next day, however. So far, I am LOVING them! I haven't quite nailed down exactly which lesson I'm going to use them with first, but just on a personal note, I must say that they are very, very nice.

I am using the Flipboard app to read everything I follow on Google Reader and on Twitter. It displays the websites I follow in a magazine format. I can "flip" through the pages until I see something that I want to read, and then I just touch it. When I do that, the blog/website pops up into a viewer friendly box that is just the text (no sidebar info, for example). I can choose to view blog or website on its original website by clicking on a message at the bottom of the popup box, but I find that I like the display that Flipboard offers. You can't comment from this view, however, so sometimes I do go to the original page. I confess that I haven't used it as much to read my Twitter stuff, but so far, I'm having a lot of fun using it for my Google Reader account. I think it also can be a viewer for Facebook links, but since I don't have a Facebook account, I wouldn't know. And I'm probably not doing this app justice!

I have downloaded a couple of apps that I will probably review here shortly, and I hope to write about my adventures in trying to use this "new" technology with my classes.
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