There is nothing quite like real-time feedback to determine if students really got it! Just about every faculty experiences that look—students’ eyes indicating that they understand or do not understand the explanation given or the conclusions just drawn. But how do we really know that our students are not merely acting the part when they nod in agreement, trying to get us to believe that they understand something when they do not? I have no idea what is really taking place behind those eyes or what is going on in a students’ brain so this is where Socrative comes to the rescue.
Teaching with Technology
I have a lot of apps. That is not surprising because as anyone knows, few apps are capable of doing everything they promise much less doing everything well. So, given the number of note-taking apps I already own, why am I still looking for that perfect note-taking app? Well, I have a confession to make: my penmanship is not the best but, at least, I can read it and what I am really after is an app that makes my handwriting on the iPad look and feel like what I write using pen/pencil and paper. That, more than anything else, has been the biggest impediment to me making the switch to total electronic note-taking.
I have been looking for a reliable iPad app that would allow me to remotely connect and control my PC or Mac and I finally found one that works well! The app is Whiteboard by Splashtop and the wireless connection between iPad and PC/Mac is seamless and dependable. Connection is a HUGE issue when working with wireless technologies because the last thing that any presenter wants is to spend time figuring out technical glitches. Configuring Whiteboard requires that both iPad and Mac/PC are connected to the same WiFi, which admittedly can be a problem on most campuses for security or other reasons. My simple work around is to use an ad hoc network (an Airport Express will do just fine) if all I want to do is have wireless control of my PC or Mac from the iPad. Another option is to use a MiFi assuming you have one.
I enjoy working with students and believe that learning can be a fun activity. Today there are some interesting ways to introduce elements of fun in classroom activities using stand-along buzzer systems—wired and WiFi—but these can be very expensive and a bit bulky.
Are you looking to try something new in your classroom? You may wish to try QuizShow!
QuizShow was created a few years ago for use at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University in Washington, D.C. It’s a game show-like software program that is both easy and fun to use with your students during class. Best of all, QuizShow is free of charge and has no copyright restrictions.
Slides, even with text and graphics on them, aren’t particularly as good as instructional content because someone needs to explain what’s on each slide. You are still the presenter and you should explain, right? (Right.)
As a faculty member within a School of Health and Medical Sciences at a liberal arts university, I was fortunate to participate in an initiative
iAnnotate PDF is an excellent, full-featured app for marking-up or making notations on PDF files on your iPad. The app handles PDF files in such a way that you will feel as if you are working on your desktop or notebook computer. iAnnotate is well designed, provides a wide range of tools that can be arranged in a customizable manner, and is loaded with editing options.
After reading the Faculty Focus Special Report “Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty” I was spurred to share a best practice regarding the use of technology in the classroom.
The Sketch Pad program is a must for several reasons: it is very easy to use, has several features, and it is very nicely priced. All of the tools can be controlled from their home location at the bottom of the screen or be made to float and positioned anywhere they are convenient.