The ease of use and simplicity, coupled with the fact that many pupils have their own devices these days, mean that the Ipad or iPod touch is ideal for use in the classroom. With a range of products and marketing that targets educational institutions schools are really starting to get on board with their range of devices.There are ways that PE teachers can use iPads or iPods within theory classes from PE apps, note taking apps or iTunes U. If you only have a one or a few devices in a class of 30 you can still incorporate the device by setting up ‘stations’ where groups rotate and use an iPad. Remember the iPad should be seen as an educational tool. There are some really good examples of blogs out there that showcase how you can incorporate just one device like this one. So… with all this in mind it is time to crack on!
My top tips for only one device:
1) Carousel where pupils rotate around stations (iPad, text-book, card sort, past paper questions)
2) Rotate around groups in the class on a timed basis
3) Students that have finished the class tasks get to use the device as reward
4) Randomly select students to use the iPad (raffle)
1) PE Apps: There aren’t that many PE theory specific apps out there and if you are teaching a specific section of a theory class for example fitness, psychology or anatomy then you can find an app to support the students learning for a certain section of a course. For example using iMuscle or fitness pro has been useful when delivering the Edexcel GCSE specification this term for me, specifically topic 1.1.4 and the fitness section. The following are a list of apps that I have been using this term.
- GCSE PE app: This is a great app that I use during the plenary of my lessons or as a ‘rewards’ part of the lesson where they can listen to music on our iPods whilst revising using this app. Generally universal for all three GCSE PE specifications the app has all sections divided up in to handy revision bits and also quizzes to test subject knowledge.The results give instant feedback and can inform which areas and topics need more work.
- GCSEPod app: GCSE Pod is a subscription based service that schools can sign up to and you don’t have to have a mobile device to view them a lot of my pupils download them and use them on their PC at home. We have been an advocate of the service since early 2011 and featured in a case study in an article in the TES back in April 2011. However if your school subscribes to GCSEPod you can download the iPhone or iPod Touch app, enter your username and password to access the audio-visual podcasts for free. The new feature of the service is that if your school does not have a subscription you can buy a personal subscription through the App. All the podcasts contain information such as dates, names, annotated diagrams, keywords, themes, quotes, equations and graphs and are great for targeting different learning styles of pupils. They are just releasing the series for PE and as you can see from the picture from their website (click image for web link) that they are slowly releasing them so stay tuned!
- Anatomy apps: One of the best range of apps available for the ipad are the anatomy and medical apps category. The multi gesture touch screen on any apple device means that learning about the human body is interactive. You can view my page here for the top 10 anatomy apps you can download and use in your lessons.
2) iTunes U: Allows you to search for video or audio lectures from universities and colleges and take notes from them. You can read books and view presentations and see assignments that have been set up. An iTunes U course includes all the items you would use in a traditional course: a syllabus, handouts, quizzes, and so on. Also they can include video and audio lectures as well as interactive elements such as content and links from the Internet, iBookstore, App Store, and iTunes Store.
iTunes U app: The app can be downloaded from the app store so that you can have your course content via the app. Just tap a book and start reading, click a video and its instantly on, click a link to go straight to the correct segment. With automatic updates iTunes U keeps all documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date through the app. You can encourage pupils to download the app if they have their own devices as well.
Creating your own courses: Apple have recently made it possible for any teacher or lecturer to create their own iTunes U course and this is especially useful if schools do not have their own VLE or good ICT infrastructures to house course materials. It’s easy to create your own custom courses for iPad and means it puts materials you create for your course including syllabus, videos, apps, books, class assignments etc all in one place. To start using the iTunes U Course Manager, which is an easy-to-use web-based tool, simply gather all the materials you need and follow the steps in iTunes U Course Manager by clicking here.
3) Revision Apps: Pupils could use their devices such as these to revise and we can ensure that they are used in the right way with a number of useful apps, podcast services and other resources to enhance the revision experience for many young people. In this post we will explore some of the best emerging technology out there for physical education students.
Revision App is the Ultimate Revision Tool. With pre-loaded flash cards covering GCSE, A-Level, University and College subjects. There is a quiz functionality, the ability to create your own video, text or audio flash cards. Additionally you can participate in a group study and send flash cards to friends or other members of your study group.
Revision aid allows pupils to build their own text or multiple choice questions and use the quiz section to take the quiz in random order.
Top 20 Exam Revision Tips, is an iPhone/iPod application that brings you the guidelines for exam revision tips that are really very helpful for every student.
4) Note taking/ work apps: There are literally hundreds of apps that allow students to take notes or create work on that make learning more engaging, fun and interactive. The best note taking app available is evernote and its features simply surpass any other app on the market. They are similar to Apple because they too have a big focus on education and the simple to use interface means that pupils can take notes and sync them to the central server, meaning nones are always there. This is excellent for PE because we are constantly using different facilities, locations or classrooms- pupils simply pick up where they left off. Evernote is like a binder that a student can carry with them from year to year. Each year a student can collect all of their learning in one location and essentially, indirectly or purposely, compile a digital portfolio.
Environmental benefits: Using such an app has environmental benefits as well because you will find that eventually you can become paperless. You can scan assignments and teaching tools and store them in notebooks. Also pupils have no excuse for not forgetting their books either and are probably much likely to take notes on an iPad than in a text book.
Differentiation: I have a number of students with special educational needs in my btec class and they find it difficult to take notes. Touch screens instead can be much easier to use by students with fine motor difficulties or low levels of literacy and can also help unorganised students by keeping their notes all in one place.
To read more about the iPads in SEN education click here for an excellent live binders resource.
Work apps: There are hundreds of apps that you can use for getting students to record and write down notes, coursework or projects. Whiteboard apps capture what students or teachers draw on an iPad screen and can also record voice. To view my favourite ones click here to view my page on this topic.
5) ebooks: Apple’s recent announcement of an upgrade to iBooks author has meant that it is now even easier to create your own course text books and really puts you the teacher in control of content for your courses and classes. There are two ways that you can create ebooks for your devices and these are firstly converting a word, pages, powerpoint or keynote document into a PDF so that it can be viewed in iBooks, or using iBooks author on a mac. For information and a how to guide see my page on ebooks by clicking here.