iPads: Not Just for Fun and Games

Although I teach honors algebra 2 as well as a low functioning Essential 1 freshman math class, I am striving to integrate iPads effectively in many ways beyond  learning games for practicing computation and mathematical reasoning.  IPads can be used effectively to remediate, extend concepts to STEM, and Publish. All of my students have access to using iPads as needed to reinforce  math concepts, but they have begun to use them in ways to support their STEM projects too, ( 10 iPads serve my 130 students pretty well at this point… though I would love to have access to more!).

First, a special thanks to Kari Huttner and Kyle Schutte for sharing these app.s with me! I was able to use what they had shown me to make some pretty great advancements in the lower functioning math class and  extend STEM projects to include some great publishing options!

Beyond using the ipad apps that are “Games” to reinforce concepts, I have found it amazingly powerful to use the ipad as a tool where students have to dissect or solve a problem through writing and speaking, conveying their thoughts.
so these are the apps we have used and how we mashed them together:

1. Take a picture on your iPad of any object or problem you want your kids to solve, or go to Discovery Streaming and find your image, preview, and take a pic with the iPad!
2. Use either Screen Chomp or Show ME apps to import the picture and have students write on the iPad with a stylus while recording their verbal explanation. Then students can preview their work and redo it if they are not happy, then they “publish their work”

3. Another great app is the easychart:

Easychart will allow students create charts realtive to any data they have collected – it will let them select the type of chart/ line / pie graph.  We create the chart, snap a screen shot, then import into show me or screen chomp! Now the kids can verbalize what they believe the data shows while writing on the screen and recording, maximizing their understanding.

Below are a few links to different types of published iPad STEM results of my students and children.

This is an Honors Algebra 2 student who was using her data in easy chart to make a “Video/ audio file in screen chomp  to embed into her prezi – a project that utilizes many web 2.0 tools:

To see how she embedded this into a full blown presentation: http://prezi.com/7so1wsuacopd/buoyancy/

My daughter was also able to use this to solve some math applications for me. I could not get her to stop!  She is 9 and she is so comfortable talking to the ipad and explaining what she is doing and why…. ( She is using a soft ruler to measure on the ipad, but you cant see that – so she tells you what she is doing!)

Here is my first attempt at easychart in screenchomp — there is no speaking as I was doing it at 3 AM – though you will hear my husband in the background snoring 😉 .. but this is a great way to see how STEM comes together on the ipad


I have used these apps more than any other – as STEM is about having students problem solve, integrating Science, Technology, Engineering & Math. I feel that these apps are the cornerstone of having kids do STEMazing problem solving using ip[ads – what is even better, is these published works can be posted on a wiki or a blog – or shared as I am doing here…

One last example of these apps is here – i took pics of different shaded regions for my low kids.. they were to explain how to find the area — realize these kids are very low functioning – but look what this boy could do – and he is legally blind –

My students publish on Prezi and their best work is then published on our Public Wiki
please check these STEM resources – and if you have the iSwifter  App- the whole prezi – even the flash videos will run smoothly on your iPads!

With iSwifter, you can  individualize what STEM ideas we feature relative to different students’ needs.

We are about to publish a whole bunch of new STEM projects and many integrate the above APPs.
to get up to date releases of these STEM projects to use in your classroom, follow me on Twitter where i release the best immediately… takes a bit more work to get them organized on the wiki.

Now it’s time for me to play with all the cool apps Steve Dembo shared in his webinar, to see what more we can do!


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