Our school will be experimenting with several Android tablets as well as the iPad this summer in hopes of starting a pilot program at some point next school year.  Does anyone have any Apps, Ideas, or Advice they would like to share about using Android Tablets and/or iPads in the classroom?

Tags: 3.0, android, apps, classroom, honeycomb, motorola, samsung, tablet

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I use iPads, but most of the useful apps are available on Android too:

 

Dropbox for sharing files

PlainText for taking notes, with auto syncing to your dropbox folder

GoodReader for viewing files and annotating PDFs (great for running records). Syncs with Dropbox.

 

All of our teachers have them. We have grade level shared Dropbox folders for sharing running records (annotated in GoodReader), mentor text ideas, trip forms, etc. PlainText is great for note taking since all notes are autosaved to Dropbox, which can then be shared....

 

There are a bunch of other apps I use, but not sure if they are Android based too (like the McGraw Hill Everday Math apps, SoundNote, Notability, etc).

 

We have a site built around our staff iPad initiative (ps10ipads.wikispaces.com). There is an "Apps" page that might be useful to you. Again, we're iPads but a lot of app developers are supporting both platforms.

If you can get the downloadable java files (.jar) you can actually run them on the tablet using a java emulator program.  The only problem is getting the files from the websites.  I believe you can get the ones from NLVM when you buy the collection of manipulatives on disk.

I'm in college and i actually have used Dropbox before and its a great tool and its easy to use. 

Thanks, Christopher.  We'll check out your site.  Appreciate the ideas!

Christopher is right.  Many of the apps that teachers use on the iPad are available as android apps.  Some specialized apps are not yet available for android tablets.  

 

You should also remember to use the Flash enabled sites on the web using the browser in android.  For example, one of the greatest apps for young kids on the iPad (SuperWhy from PBSkids) is available at no cost using the flash enabled version of the pbskids site.  Another amazing site is related to the awesome iPad app called The Elements.  Best of all it costs nothing.

Thanks, Jon.
I know several schools that use phones use Toolbox pro or related software to sync and assign work.  You could go the free route with Google tools, DropBox, etc which I think are fine on a small scale.  If you're goal is for many classrooms to be integrated a larger software package with more bells and whistles might be a better fit.  Also, I would suggest contacting a Verizon representative in your area.  I attended a few conferences in the Albany, NY area where there were discussions with reps about use of both phones and the Galaxy Tab in the classroom.  Do you have Wi-Fi in school or do the tablets need a data plan?  Will students be taking them home?  The real strength of the data plan option is having students able to get the internet at home who otherwise wouldn't be able to.  From what I've heard 5th grade seems to be a great age group to start a program at.  Good luck with your pilot program.
We have Wi-Fi so we would not be looking to do a data plan. Students will be taking them home - so the data plan idea sounds nice. However, we eventually will have around 4000. Probably too expensive to have data plans. Plus the majority of our students either have internet or can easily access Wi-Fi near their homes. Still - data plans would be nice for those who can't. Thanks for the ideas.

My 2 cents

So much to consider. What is the main objective? eTextbooks? eBooks? Files for class? Some browsing?  eReaders will do this in color for $100 - $250

 

Need More? Apps for review? Better browsing? Some content creation?  Then a tablet is a step up.

Tablets -> 3 major players  Apple - Android - Blackberry  All with unique benifits. Need Flash player? Then forget iPads.

Screen sizes vary from 7" to 10". Resistive touch? Capacitive touch? Prices range from $100 to over $800

 

Need to do "real work"? Create content? Editing? Netbooks  (10" screen) can be had for as little as $250 with quality battery life and offer more flexibility. They also make nice eReaders and content carriers.

 

The secret to success here is to identify the true need and purpose of the device. Tablets/eReaders are cool and fun. They are great for playing games, have a variety of educational apps, listening to music/podcasts and watching video. Netbooks/Laptops can be easier for an IT dept. to manage and are a better choice for content creation...in my humble opinion.

Our CTO was just at Google IO last week where Google made some important announcements about Chromebooks and education. His blog post talks about the strengths of Chromebooks vs. tablets in a school setting and whether it is time for schools to go all-in on the web.

Thanks for the link, Dave!

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