iPads in Maths

NOTE: This post builds on the Base ICT in Maths post. 
iPads are often thought of as a device that is somewhat restricted but the tool sets that they bring make them a very worthwhile tool.

There are still some limitations in relation to iPads but the positives are certainly starting to outweigh the negatives.

This post is meant as an initial overview of some of the genuine uses of the iPad for learning. Further posts go into greater use for deeper learning.

Firstly – Limitations of iPads:

It is good to be aware of the limitations of iPads. We will look at alternatives and we can talk of how it SHOULD be but . . …

Flash: Hmmm! there are still many sites that are flash dependant and this causes much grief. Luckily there are alternatives in many cases and we will hopefully compile a number of “all device” friendly tools and sites.
Spreadsheets: Trying to work on a spreadsheet on an iPad is still a massively lesser experience as you can not fill down or across yet. We can work on spreadsheets on an iPad in numbers, google docs and other apps but the experience is still poor and hopefully we will see this change.
Document access and storage: This is often thought of as a limitation with iPads but in actual fact the updates to iCloud along with amazing cloud services like Google Drive, Box, Dropbox etc have meant that it no longer needs to be a problem and in fact you are better off to have access to all of your documents on all of your devices as well as the web.
No USB drive: there is no doubt that it would be nice to have a USB but without one we just have to use services that share folders and files.

What iPads Enable!:

There are so many features of iPads that make them very powerful devices, even to the extent that you may find it to be your tool of choice.
Genuine mobility: The obvious one!? Mobility trumps portability!
Camera/video camera: the most useful tool?
Books and Documents: books and documents with you.
Access to Information and Tools: via the web or apps, tools like desmos.com (review to come) which works across all devices or Khanacademy.org which is renewed and SUPER. (Our review is here) and amazing apps like Wolfram Alpha and Geogebra.
Note taking: creating written notes and accessing them across multiple devices is a game breaker for maths. see our post on written notes on the ICT blog.
Movie Making: iMovie app is now a VERY powerful tool.
Convergence: many devices and tools in the one device!

And the Biggie – CONTENT CREATION!

iPads came out with everyone saying they were “content consumption” devices and the early use was just that. Now though, things are excitingly VERY different. The ability to create content on an iPad today is ridiculous! This is already a big feature of the NEW ICT blog within the “iPads” category

Content Creation on iPads:

Content creation takes many forms but we will focus on a couple for the maths blog.

Good Maths Notes: you want to write notes as well as type and have graphics and websites? Notability App is the one we have chosen to be the most powerful of the note taking apps and also it can do the work of many pdf annotation apps as well.?
Check out our ICT blog post on: Notability for note taking where hand written content is required.

Creating Videos: iMovie is now a truly amazing app (updated tutorial very soon, Stay tuned!) But for maths the use of explain everything along with screen shots from websites or notability (or PowerPoints or documents or pdfs or …… . . . ) opened in explain everything app and narrated and annotated if need be can create amazing results.
Check out:
Explain Everything: review and tutorial on our ICT Blog
Using Notability with Explain Everything to create videos.

and then from sites like desmos.com

Final Say:

Hopefully this has helped in highlighting some of the power of iPads, especially as a content creation device. If content creation is not your thing then you can always rest on the iPad features of mobility, simplicity and convergence!


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