Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
That's odd; we use LanSchool (Teacher's Assistant for iPad/iPhone/iPod) to view activity, monitor and control iPads in our institution. Perhaps I don't understand the concerns clearly.
Charles, my understanding of LanSchool on the iOS systems was that it was still very limited compared to other full OS systems like windows or OSX. Particularly their web site reads like iOS lacks the ability to restrict web browsing, or even blank screen like other OS's have with LanSchool.
Am I just reading their site wrong, because they basically claim all you get with an iOS device is a thumbnail and the polling ability (which in and of itself is very cool).
I find laptops harder to monitor since the screen acts as a wall between students and the teacher. I like the fact that the iPads start up instantly, the screen can be put to sleep in a second when you want the class to look up and listen, and that students can only see one app at a time. We have removed distracting Apps such as You Tube, the App Store, iTunes, etc. so that students can focus on the apps we want them to use in class instead. This has worked very well so far.
I teach a year seven class with 1:1 iPads, and also have my own iPad that comes with me to my year nine and eleven classes. I approach the iPad the same way I approach all my teaching; with creativity! As with any classroom management issue, we started the semester with some discussion of expectations, and consequences. The first time I gave them permission to use iBooks for silent reading, I ended up with a stack of six iPads on my desk. When I busted Little Johnny harvesting Smurf Berries instead if working, he wrote me a story about the day in the life of Papa Smurf. And you wish you were a fly on the wall the day I had to discuss appropriate chat apps! :O
moving to playing games on the TI-83 graphing calculator
I am new to iphone programming and this forum, but have a suggestion which might assist.
In my humble opinion, there seems to be two problems which are easily solvable.
(1) The ability to viewing the student's internet activity, and
(2) Controlling the content the students are allowed to view, or are restricted from viewing.
The solution seems to be a browser which upon start-up goes to a specific internet address to get the viewing restrictions, and has back-end access to allow teachers to view the students views. The solution/application I developed is to open a port on the device and allow a password protected access to see the web-browsing screen shots. I've set it up to take screen shots every so-many seconds, and only keep a certain number of screen shots on the device.
The secondary use for this application is to allow students to stream their content directly to a projector via wifi.
Would something like this be useful to teachers?
Will, could the screen shots be saved to a folder on the cloud, rather than the device?
I'm imagining that as part of my class preparation, I would enter my list of sites that we will be using, or probably want to use, into the app. Sounds simple enough. Would I be able to add sites once the session was already running?
Yes. You can save them anywhere and in any format....video, etc.
This application is so simple, I just wrote it in a matter of an hour. Here is the screen shot of an iphone, the web-site the teacher would view, and what the actual screen capture looks like.
Regarding content filtering: We are planning a 1:1 initiative for 11 & 12 graders with the 2011-2012 school year. We've cut our teeth on iPods. There are two carts with 20 iPods that have been around for two years now. They are shared devices and don't leave the confines of our buildings. I'm so glad to move to a 'personal device.' I feel strongly that the iPad is best used that way. Administration here is very concerned with filtering content. I couldn’t see how we could seamlessly filter in the building and do the same off-network. Then the light came on when I heard about this product. We use Lightspeed Systems Total Traffic Control as our content filter. They have an app, still in development, that works... It does basically what Will Rubel described. Each URL entered and every link clicked is verified by our content filter. It does increase traffic on our network, but minimally. I've noticed no difference in performance versus the builtin Safari Browser. The idea is that the normal Safari Browser is disabled with iPhone config utility. The Lightspeed browser is installed and all web browsing is done there. Of course the app store will be disabled as well. The Lightspeed Content Filter recordsmore than enough information regarding browsing done by students in the thorough reporting feature. There are easily editable white and black lists.
Once I started to use monitoring software when my class is using computers, the dynamics of the class changed. All of a sudden students realised that at any time I can see what they are doing, no more mind games of them trying to get away with stuff.
I would appreciate the same 'power' with ipads.