Monthly Archives: June 2012

Poll: Can a school go paperless in the classroom?

I might be naive, but I think I could go paperless in my Jr. High/High School math classes…on the condition that each of my students has access to a tablet at school and at home.  I’d like to know what other teachers think, though.

Do other math teachers think my expectations are realistic?

What about science, social studies and communication arts teachers?

I wouldn’t expect practical and fine arts classes to go paperless, but would a tablet computer in the hands of each student be significantly beneficial?

Take my poll and if you have any ideas or experience, leave me a comment.

 

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Can a Tablet Replace a Textbook?

We’ve had a number of junior high and high school students using tablets for a full school year now, and I have lots of questions for those involved.  I would like to know how teachers and students feel about replacing textbooks with tablets.  I know that some schools use tablets in conjunction with textbooks, but I’m pretty sure that in order for tablets to be an economic possibility at my school, we would have to eliminate future textbook purchases.

Take a second to share how you feel.

Feel free to leave a comment if you need to elaborate.


What should my next tech purchase be?…

I like tech and I like school. My hobby is finding ways to incorporate tech in my classroom.  At the moment, I’m not using my tech to its potential.  I’m using a Toshiba Z835 ultrabook primarily for word processing and web browsing, and my Galaxy Note smartphone is basically just a PDA/camera.

My tech timing stinks.  After weeks of research and debating between a Windows PC and a Macbook, I bought a Windows PC (the Toshiba I mentioned earlier)…and within a few days, Apple announced iBooks Author.  iBooks Author is a free download from the Mac App Store and is only compatible with OS X 10.7.3 and higher.  I spent my entire spring break trying to run iBooks Author in a virtual machine.  After several unsuccessful attempts and a little research, I discovered that it’s impossible to run many Apple apps (iBooks Author, iWork, X Code) on a virtual machine like VMware and Parallels because they do not support Apple Quartz Extreme/Core Image (QE/CI) graphics acceleration technology.

I considered selling my laptop and getting an 11″ Macbook Air.  I want to be able to create my own interactive books and apps, but I decided that it’s just not practical at this point.  My school doesn’t have tablets for students yet, but I know it’s just a matter of time.

Rumors have resurfaced that Microsoft is working on an Office app for the iPad.  I used an iPad 2 for a while last year, but had to sell it when I couldn’t find a suitable app to us instead of MS Office.  These rumors piqued my interest, so I started doing a little research.  Even if the native MS Office app doesn’t pan out, I found a couple of interesting possibilities.

1) CloudOn

The Good – Gives you access to full featured Word, Excel, and Power Point.  The basic service is free and includes a couple of gig of storage on the CloudOn server.

The Bad – You must have 3G or Wifi access because the office suite is running on a remote server.  In order to have integrated Dropbox, you have to pay a monthly fee.

2)  Splashtop

The Good – Gives you remote access you your computer.  I have MS Office, Dropbox, SMART Notebook, and Exam View Test Generator that I use for school.

The Bad – I would only have access to my computer as long as I had internet access, but on a good note, since I would have access to Dropbox, I could view, edit, and even create docs with iWork on the rare occasions that I don’t have internet access.

One thing is for sure, I’m not making any major purchases until after Apple’s WWDC June 11-15.  I’m hoping to get info on the next iOS update and (cross fingers) a native MS Office app for iOS.