Thursday, 29 May 2014
The following takes place between 1pm and 2pm...
I'm going to be 30 this year (in Sep)! However, I'm pretty impatient and so when my mother offered to get me an iPad, that she knew I've been wanting for a while, for my birthday, early, I jumped at the chance! Thanks mum!
So, now armed with a brand new iPad Air I've started to download apps and discover the best ways to use it in class, where/when appropriate. Now, I'm sure I'll blog later about the different apps that I have/plan to use, but for now I wanted to write about 2 things...linking my iPad to my class projector and creating a public 'hotspot'.
Last year, when, as part of my school's NQT programme, I had the opportunity to visit a local school where I was given a session on using iPads in a MFL classroom. The teacher that gave the presentation showed us how to link the iPad to the projector and, briefly, how she'd used it with her classes; how she'd invited students to show their work on the iPad, take photos of students work and project them on the board etc etc. So, the first thing I wanted to do when getting my iPad was to see if I could sort out the same.
I sought out the correct leads to do the job, notably a lighting to VGA cable and a VGA extension cable...
I'm now able to show, on my IWB, exactly what is shown on my iPad. Now, as of now all I've really done is mess around with it in my free periods, play angry birds etc. I'm still figuring out how best to use it instead of my IWB and whether I really need to. The main purposes I can see of me wanting to link up to the projector are...
1) to show students work having taken photos in class - maybe then even use the 'Skitch' app to annotate what they've done well/highlight errors etc (or get another student to do this for the rest of the class to see)
2) use and show various apps on screen, there are loads of maths apps that I'm currently browsing through/seeing how best they would work for me and my students in class
Now, I came across a stumbling block with the second point...a lot of the apps I want to use require an internet connection. I don't have a cellular iPad and so rely on WiFi. This, then limits what I'm able to do with my iPad...bugger!
Naturally, I went to see my school's ICT department about getting the school's WiFi password...not allowed it (don't ask)! Apparently, in the undetermined future, they'll be at a stage to allow this, but not now (again, don't ask). So, I thought I was at a wall here and unable to go any further - I even tried picking up a local BT WiFi zone using my BT WiFi app, no success.
Cue one of our enthusiastic ITTs (who already has an iPad himself)...
He, like a comic book superhero, told me about creating a public 'hotspot' from my iPhone! This, to anybody who, like me 2 weeks ago, has never heard of it, is a way of sharing your iPhone's 3G connection! It's extremely simple to set up and having done so, each time I want to access the Internet I just access the public hotspot I have set up and I'm good to go! This as a (hopefully) short term fix whilst my school's ICT catches up, is fine by me and now allows me to start experimenting in class with my new iPad. I can't express how happy I was that day when I found out about the 'hotspot', I had gone from 'well this sucks' to 'look at what I can do with my new iPad'!
Future posts will follow as I find useful apps and figure out how best to use it in class...it is, however, great for watching '24' using my 'Amazon Prime' app (I'm slightly addicted)!