Last semester I had the unique opportunity to peer teach a classroom of 14 first year students. Going into the semester my goal was to facilitate the development of essential skills for academic success at Tufts. This meant that my co-teacher and I assigned readings and movies designed to facilitate discussion and debate, analytical papers and creative projects to further exploration of these subjects, and mini in-class projects to display learning. To this end the iPad became an indispensable device both in and out of the classroom.
Since many of our students were new to the college writing when we assigned a paper it was structured so that our students had to write outlines and drafts as a way to begin brainstorming and organizing their thoughts. Using the iPad to edit these projects made it quick and easy to annotate the students work and email it back to them.
We also found use for the iPads in the classroom for mini-projects. We were able to break up the class into smaller groups and issue each group an iPad. This allowed us to be greener as we didn’t have to print out our assignments and also gave them the functionality of a computer without having to lug around a laptop. Specialized apps such as animator were also invaluable to our class experience. Some of our projects included changing the tone of a photo, exploring different camera techniques, creating a mini movie, and developing a mini-presentation.