iPad Lab and Apps Boost Interactivity

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Although students in Mr. Grant Burke’s Photography class build archaic box cameras and make darkroom prints, Burke also promotes the latest technology, including taking photos with iPhones and utilizing the school learning management system, Haiku. Burke recently took advantage of a new Hyde Library technological offering, what students call the iPad Lab, to give a quiz on individual iPads via Haiku.

“All lessons and materials are online through Haiku. Kids turn in their pictures through Haiku,” Burke said. “It’s only natural that I try out quizzes. Students also get immediate grades, and I don’t have to grade the tests.”

The iPad Lab, housed in the library’s Cook Seminar Rooms, offers 22 iPads and 26 laptop computers for classes to use. Compact and easy to operate, the devices facilitate student interactivity, Mrs. Bonnie Barnes, director of Hyde Library, said.

“We have used the iPads in Library Research class with BookMyne [library catalog app], NoodleTools [academic research platform], EBSCOhost [online research databases], and several other library databases,” Barnes said.

Ms. Judy Rutledge, director of academic technology, said teachers are discovering interesting ways to incorporate the iPads and apps into their lessons.

“Although laptops are more effective for word processing, iPads are extremely versatile, and the students like using them,” she said.

The various ways teachers are using the technology illustrates her point.

Mrs. Elizabeth Hopper’s geometry classes have practiced math concepts on iPads using Manga High, a math site for online instruction, games, and quizzes. Mr. Barry Ray, Upper School principal, uses an iPad in his Honors U.S. History class to show PowerPoint and Safari Montage presentations.

Ms. Laura McCormick’s Molecular Biology students have used the iPad Lab to research and cite scientific journal articles. Next quarter her Honors Biology I students will use the 3D Brain app to see where the various brain components are located.

“They will be able to turn and flip or move the image based on what they want to see,” she said. “The app will also help them learn about the functions of all the areas of the brain as they view them on the screen.”

Next up, she said, is using the iPads to perform 3-D protein structural analysis via PyMOL.

Ms. Lizzie Gill, instructor in science, employs several iPad and iPhone apps in the classroom. A favorite is The Elements, an app that brings the periodic table to life with engaging photography and graphics, animations, and 3-D rotations, as well as facts, figures, and stories about the elements.

“It’s an interactive version of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe by Theodore Gray,” Gill said, adding, “It’s really cool.”

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