Hello and happy Saturday. If you have a fully equipped classroom with a smartboard and iPads, computers or other electronic devices available to some or all of your students, this post is not for you. I mean, congratulations, you are one lucky teacher, but honestly, this post is for us teachers who lack a ton of technological resources in our classroom, and who therefore have to seek strategies to make the best out of what we have.
I’m not complaining here because I’m actually lucky to have a laptop for myself and classrooms equipped with smart TVs. I have and HDMI cable that can be plugged into my computer, and I also have a personal cable I can connect to my iPhone and iPad. When I say “personal” I mean I paid for it, and did so gladly because it has improved my classes in many ways.
Today I’m going to tell you about two ways in which I use my iPad because you might want to take note and put them into practice in the future. So, after this long-ass introduction, let’s get started, shall we?
1. I use it to play music
Yes, having a smart TV means I have access to the YouTube app, but let’s be real here, sometimes the internet is super slow and videos take forever to load, and also sometimes I don’t want to search for every single video but rather have a playlist.
I talked about this in a previous post , how I have Spotify premium so I can be able to play music online. I have this playlist called Classroom Jams, which I love and I’m always feeding with more awesome songs.
What I do is plug my iPad or iPhone to the smart TV using my HDMI adapter, put it on “Airplane Mode,” and play my previously-downloaded music from Spotify. I lock the screen of whichever device is connected so that my students don’t get distracted by what’s displayed on the TV.
2. I display worksheets/ digital posters or pictures
Most of my students can’t read or write yet, at least not in English, which is their second language. That means that most of the times I do the reading for them, and have them respond to what I say orally rather than in written form. That means, there are many times in which I don’t need a worksheet for each of my students because they’ll do nothing with it other than look at what I’m showing them. What I do is have said worksheet/poster/picture saved in my iPad and display it on the smart TV.
I’ve done this with warm-up activities in which I display a worksheet with a series of questions and ask them orally, but have them written as a visual aid, and also while explaining positional words through a poster. This saves me time I’d usually have to spend writing on the board, and it helps the planet because then I don’t have to take a ton of copies that in the end are useless.
Because I download this images, I don’t need to have internet access, which in some cases is a factor that determines the success or failure of a class. I mean, what if you plan a whole class using and app or site that requires Internet connection, only to realize you don’t have any?
I’m sure there are tons of other ways to use your iPad in class, and if you know of one, please tell me about it in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila