Here's an extract from a post I read today:
In a small French class with only five or six students, the teacher helped her students familiarize themselves with their new iPads by screen casting a vocabulary exercise on the board. As students responded to the prompt, their answers popped up on the screen. The teacher could instantly see who understood her question – asked in French – and who was confused. Students also got immediate feedback on their answers and the class could discuss common mistakes.
Later, the teacher asked students to draw iPad sketches of the scene she described in French. Students were able to share their drawing with one another through the screencast, an especially useful too if the class had been bigger."
I know it is early days for this teacher, this school and these students, but this seems a very small return for the investment in ipads, in this case, and all the tech support involved. My own take is that I would prefer to rely on BYOD to ensure all my students have access to the incredibly useful apps that are available.
I'm not really interested in apps that drill for use in class, although if some students think these will help them out of class, I am prepared to accept that they may be right. However, in class I only really want apps that are to do with the production of language and spoken language at that. This means apps for recording my students' speaking and it's a question of each student taking responsibility for recording their own spoken work and storing it on-line, where they and I can listen to it.
I've posted about this https://plus.google.com/106967795011827696866/posts/YUyfWXHRRjX and in this reply http://www.teachingvillage.org/2014/02/05/using-cell-phones-in-the-classroom-when-computers-are-not-available-by-fabiana-casella/comment-page-1/#comment-125356
"I liked your article, which I read because I use smart phones in my classes with adults every day, too.
We use ipadio and audioboo apps, which are both available for iPhones and Android phones. Students record themselves speaking using the ipadio app for retelling stories or interviews and the audioboo app for pronunciation, repetition, reading aloud. The idea is that they set up their ipadio and audioboo accounts to automatically post to their e-portfolios on WordPress, where they post their corrected writing, too.
I really recommend teachers to experiment with recording students on smart phones and to overcome obstacles to the use of smartphones in class. It is also important to get the school to install wi-fi and allow students to connect to it."
I also posted this reply here: http://oupeltglobalblog.com/2014/02/13/5-apps-every-teacher-should-have-in-2014/#comment-26944 about what apps I use.
- Writing is easier on tablet than on a smart phone, but I don't do much writing in class and tablets are not THAT easy to use for writing, anyway.
- Searching for information about course content may work in content based learning, but language is primarily skills based
- Recording audio and/or video is possible on both tablets and smartphones
- If students don't have smartphones, class sets of smartphones or tablets might help, but ipadio can be used on even the simplest phones in many countries, and any phone that can record for a few minutes can be used and the files produced uploaded to audioboo
- Electronic book versions of coursebooks are still as expensive as or more expensive than printed books, but are lighter and have added audio-visual features, but I don't use 'the physical books' much in class as I have an IWB with the coursebook software.