iPads in Education

Innovating education with technology.

Many of you are preparing for a new school year and others are in the middle of their year. There's a lot of collective experience in using iPads in class and it will be helpful to share some of our school success stories. 

What's the most successful iPad lesson you or your colleagues have delivered and what made it successful? Tell us:

- What class was it?

- What were the objectives?

- What apps or websites did you use?

- What were the activities?

- If possible, show some of the results.

Share your success story and learn from form the experiences of others. 

Sam Gliksman

Email: samgliksman@gmail.com

Twitter: @samgliksman

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Natural Disaster News Reports

Our grade fives (11 year olds) have almost finished a fantastic activity using our shared iPads. 

We based our news reports on imaginary Natural Disasters.

If I was a classroom teacher I would probably have asked my students to research and report on a real disaster.

We began by watching the BTN report about flooding in Queensland.

We discussed the format of the news report.

  • The reporter began by introducing the news item.
  • This was followed by footage of the actual disaster.
  • Whilst the footage was playing a second reporter provided a voice over.
  • Often these news reports also conclude with brief closing statement by the reporter.

Lesson One(100 minutes)

We used Lego Superheroes Movie Maker (free) and our lego people to record the footage of the disaster.

When creating our disaster footage we asked our students to think about:

  • Strategies for creating the special effects to show the disaster (no water!)
  • Always keeping their iPad camera in the same position by using a stand.
  • Using the onion skinning feature to ensure that our Lego people don't move too much between each shot.
  • Turning off rotation lock on the iPad.
  • Having the iPad camera in the correct position.

Note:  We had used the Lego Superheroes Movie Maker app once before.

Lesson Two(100 minutes)

We used the camera app to record the introductions and conclusions by the reporters.

We used iMovie ($4.99) to create our final video. This included the introduction, disaster footage and conclusion. We recorded the voiceover inside iMovie. If I were repeating the activity I would add a splash screen to the start of the News items.

Note:  Most of the students had experimented with iMovie earlier in the year. They were all fairly familiar with the camera app.


Work Samples

You can view some sample disaster footage on our blog.


I'll add a link to our completed movies once we have uploaded them.

Hi Derrick,

What a fantastic project and an excellent example of having the different aged students working together and learning from each other.

I really liked the way the iPads just slotted into your activities and were used to meet your learning goals, rather than becoming, the sometimes artificial, focus of the lesson.

Derrick Willard said:

I've run two classes on the devices thus far, and can't think of any one favorite or "ideal" lesson. The devices have been very handy for accomplishing things we used to have to book the computer lab for to complete. I would love to do a better job of letting kids take advantage of the creative power of the iPads. Here are a couple of examples from my blog:

. . .

Student pages projects on invasive species and work with younger students:


Derrick Willard

Environmental Science Teacher

Providence Day School

I've used iPads in my "Music TECH" class.  8th Grade. 

done a summary of my past year at this google doc:


I use an app called Teleprompt+ in my video production class. Even when the cost of the iPad + the app is added up the two cost less than a traditional teleprompter. Students type up our daily bulletin on a desktop which is then transferred to the teleprompt+ app. The text scrolls up on the iPad at adjustable rates. We then videotape our student newscasters reading the bulletin against a green screen. The finished video is then placed on a school server to be played at teachers convenience.

Week 3, GA - Bill, I think the teleprompt app can be used in a number of other applications.  I teach a business class and think that this could be used for a number of applications that we do.  For example we do a number of business presentation and business plans.  It would be great theater for students to use an app like this.  It would give the appearance of a professional presentation and help students in the potential business career.

One of my best iPad involved lessons was very daring and experimental because of the use of so many apps, and an ibooks that I wrote.

Students: C G Diploma in Professional Cookery mixed ability.


Describe the preparation methods of cutting a chicken for sauté

Describe the characteristics of different types of poultry cuts

I asked the students to download nearpod and to bookmark, Educreations on their phones and iPods working in pairs and gave an iPad to a group of students who had a support which had the ibook on.

 Starter The students started with a show me using a template of a chicken carcass to out what students knew about chicken.

We then did a kinaesthetic exercise showing link between human body and chicken,loads of movement and laughter.

Main: The students watched the video which was the first page of the ibook .

Students followed Step 1 wishbone -Step 2 legs cutting a chicken through the ibook.

1st plenary students logged on to nearpod pin number FKEKL and answering what they have learnt? what their learning why? With this they could write their answers and draw a wishbone which is the first nearpod slide.Those without nearpod followed the lesson via whiteboard, which had all the work projected through the iPad.

Step 3 wings Step 4 breasts Step 5 Carcasses

Reinforcing any professional chef assessment criteria’s during task

Plenary two. The students then used the template to write Write five sentences summarising the topic.Write the name of five portion cuts.

We then did a Question and answer session and clarified any outstanding issues concerning the lesson and repeated the kinaesthetic exercise.

By the end of the lesson, all students will be able to describe the method and the number pieces of the prepared chicken.

 Finally, the Educreations link was shown, which showed every cut along with narration and annotated.

HW. To find apps for cooking which they thought was great as they already knew the apps that I use with students.

On reflection, I put too many tech in the but the students loved all of it as it showed what you could do with technology in a catering.

I repeated this lesson to a larger group and didn't show them the Educreations which made the lesson more manageable.

Word of warning it's a must to make sure you have IT support as the wireless and whiteboard along with the short iPad to white board cable can play up. 

 Ipads in the kitchen


Hi Sam and fellow teachers,

We are into our 2nd year of using iPads. We began with a shared class set of 6 iPads that could be used across the elementary school. We focussed on the lower grades as there was opportunity and interest.  We were interested in exploring the possibility that young children may find the iPad an easier tool to use than the desktop and keyboard. We were pleased to find that this was true. We have now expanded our iPads to a full 1:1 class set to be used across the elementary school and early childhood center.

It is early into our new year but we have begun again!  The first lesson with the Grade 1's was an introduction to the iPad and to each other. We begun establishing basic skills using swipe, drag and tap, the home button and safe handling of the iPad . It was pleasing to see that students remembered these skills from the previous year.

The task was to take pictures of each other in pairs and groups of three. Then, using Doodle Buddy app write their name or decorate.  It was interesting to see the ways students expressed themselves in their photo and their hand written text. Some students went as far as writing a sentence!

Details of this lesson and more are on our blog.


We are looking forward to our 2nd year of iPads in the Pre K, K and Grade 1 classes! The grades above us are getting more interested too!


I rather think this is like asking what is your most successful pencil lesson! 

That said, here's some great work with a home reading program our teachers have done @MulgraveSchool Not so much a lesson as a practice.


I am a fourth grade Language Arts teacher and I am about to start my second year teaching 1:1 with iPads. I am amazed at the transformation that has occurred with my teaching and my students' learning since I started using iPads. I would like to share two units I used this past year. They were a great success and my students truly enjoyed them. I have them on my website at www.ipadpd.com. Just go to the CCSS tab once at the site. There are many student examples that showcases their success. Hope you enjoy!

I love NFB's Pix Stop for stop motion animation! This free app from Canada's National Film Board of Canada offers a great variation to creating digital stories. And it's dead simple to use!

Start out with the focus question" What makes a good story". Brainstorm ideas with students. (A good story has:... interesting problems for the characters to solve; gives the reader/viewer something to think about; makes the read want to read on; has a beginning,middle and end; is believable in it's own context; has characters you can care about... etc.) Have students choose one idea to illustrate. Create characters out of clay, or use real objects as props..Lego minifigs, dolls, blocks, what-have -you.  Create animation. Celebrate with a "film festival" and popcorn. Invite other classes and parents to the show! Guaranteed hit lesson! K-12

I find that it's very easy to align the Common Core Standards to lessons using iPads in my classroom.  My fifth graders are luck to have a class set so our activities use one to once technology.  Attached to this post is a Common Core lesson plan using the Captions App during a Social Studies activity.  Here's a link to more ideas and lesson plans using the iPad: http://bit.ly/RLOGSq

This is not really related to the topic but I launching 20 iPads in our school soon and was thinking of doing up a questionnaire for teachers to get a feel for what they want. Any ideas on questions to ask? Has anyone done this before?



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