Thursday, October 27, 2011

Technology Reflection: Instructional Use of iPads

During our last seminar, we were introduced to the Apple Ipad. They Ipad is essentially a user-friendly tablet PC. It has a large touch screen interface that even young students with weaker motor skills can still use with relative ease. The Ipad download software known as applications or Apps. The apps can be anything from a virtual chalkboard on which to write math problems, to spelling games like hangman. With the thousands of Apps available for educators to download, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to integrating Ipads into the classroom.
Learners: This lesson would be appropriate for 1st or 2nd grade students.

  • Learning outcomes: Students will complete simple addition problems using the numbers 0 to 20. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to complete basic addition problems including those that require carrying a one over.
  • Assessment: The App would be the one demonstrated for us in seminar, Mathboard, and it would keep track of the student responses along the side of the screen. Mathboard also denotes whether the response was correct or not. By viewing which problems the students got wrong, I can determine what kinds of addition problems they are struggling with.
  1. Assuming I have 3 Ipads for my class, I would first take 3 of my most well-behaved students and teach them how to use the Mathboard.
  2. I would then direct the students to a 20 question addition problem activity on Mathboard that they would be given 40 minutes to complete.
  3. Once the 40 minutes is up, I would check the students and see what they missed.
  4. Later that day during math class, I would use the results from Mathboard to work with students on the addition problems they struggled with 1 on 1.
  5. The next day, I would trust these well behaved students themselves to show the next group of 3 students how to use Mathboard.


The use of Mathboard will work well as a drill and practice program for simple addition. It will allow me to have 3 students practice there addition each day while I can work with other students. The Ipad does not serve as a second teacher, but it will allow me to strengthen and ensure knowledge of the content.

I think that the Ipad will enhance this lesson for the students. The level of interaction it provides will make the addition problems more engaging for the students. The Ipad also frees me up to work with other students while 3 students practice addition on the Ipad. After they have completed the 20 question activity, the feedback Mathboard gives me will allow me to target areas where the students are struggling .


Mathboard presents the math problems in a format that should be very familiar and intuitive for students. The screen simulates a chalkboard, the only difference being that the students use their fingers instead of chalk. The problems themselves are also presented as I teach them, so the students should be able to complete the activity after a short demonstration on how to use its various features.

I would have to keep in mind the possibility that students may have used Ipads before. In that case, I would have to vary my introduction to the Ipad based on how much prior Ipad experience the students have. I would also have to consider that some students may never have even used a computer before, let alone a touch screen tablet PC. However, I would think that the Ipad would be pretty intuitive even for somebody who has never used or seen one before.

  • The Ipad would be used to administer the addition problems activity and would also provide me with feedback on student performance.
  • The Ipad would enhance this activity because it would make the math problems more engaging for students. Mathboard provides students with distributed practice on their addition skills if I can manage to get students on the Ipad at least once a week.
  • Even though the Ipad allows me to give students an assignment and walk away, I will still need to check up on them as they complete the lesson. I could occasionally walk by and ask them how they are doing with the Ipad. I also would need to make sure they were actually using Mathboard and not some other App they do not have permission to use.
  • As previously stated, the Ipad makes simple activities more interesting. There is something about a virtual chalkboard that is just more magical and engaging than a real chalkboard. Not to mention there is less cleanup.
  • The Ipad would make the lesson more engaging and meaningful. Meaningful learning leads to longer retention of the information. This is especially important for addition skills, as the will form the foundation for their math skills.
  • Using the Mathboard app will be effective because it was designed with students in mind. It has a simple interface, and displays what questions the students got wrong for me to see.
  • The Ipad will allow me to drill the students faster and more often. It also makes the content more interesting for the students, hopefully causing them to learn more.
  • I would adjust my teaching strategies based on how the students perform on the Mathpad activity. If the students do well than I will continue teaching the way I teach, but if they struggle I will know to devote more time and effort to those content areas.

1 comment:

  1. Good reflection! I also agree with many of the benefits you pointed out that the SMART board provides. Like the lesson you planned to carry out, adding and subtracting is a somewhat difficult concept for first grade students; however, the SMART board provides an interactive experience. Not only can students who have trouble with this concept practice, but they can observe their more advanced peers like you pointed out and perhaps learn from a different prospective. It is also very important that teachers take advantage of this technology so that the students receive that best instruction possible, and the SMART board greatly contributes to that!