How about taking notes on a shared Google document. Everyone can participate, and the resulting document can be the focus of the discussion.
I ask kids the focus question. They take notes on a shared document -- first they find a clean spot in the document and type their name to claim that spot. Then they begin their notes in that spot. Students can insert horizontal lines to separate their areas. Sheri
I put the Google sign-in as a Home Page Document on the iPad. Students just click to open it, log in. If it's not in their document folder, they can go to my class site with the link to access it.
After being back from vacation for one week now, I have had some time to play with the tablet...
To answer Scott's question regarding cutting down on the time spent "taking" notes and investing more time to "analyzing" the notes... my feedback would be YES!
I personally have always thought the concept of copying notes from the board is stupid, but as I teacher I didn't know how to get around that, especially with trying to cut down on the number of copies made in reprographics. I think the tablet would be a great asset in that regard. I would love to put the notes on my website and have students download them to their tablet. Then perhaps they could use a program on the tablet to write a personal set of notes about the discussions we have about the concepts in class and their applications... not the definitions themselves.
Other feedback I have about the tablets in regard for use with my own chemistry students and the hope of using a Flexbook instead of a paper textbook:
Concerns I have in the "negative" side:
Will the tablets come with a carrying case or sleeve so they do not get scratched up in the students' bookbags (or dirt, crumbs, and other trash floating in their bookbags clog up the ports on the tablet)? Will they use the tablet to download porn and distribute it? Will they be obsessed with the fact that you can take pictures with the tablet (...I do think that the camera/video feature could be of great use to enhancing assignments)? What if they lose the power chord? Who is responsible for buying a new one? How long with the tablets' battery hold out if the students uses it every day, all day for 180 school days? Will we be purchasing keyboards for the tablets? How easily will they break??
Let me know your thoughts!
Beth - thanks for taking the time to give such a thorough evaluation. Very thoughtful.
You raise some good questions that we will have to answer along the way. At this point in time I think it would make sense to have class sets of docking stations. That way that can be used by teachers when needed and maybe even checked out by students when they need to take one home.
Battery life is a good question. I guess we'll get a good idea about that if we who are testing them really use them a lot.
Good thought about the cameras - I can definitely see a teacher making use of this feature.
Rules/procedures/etc will have to be established prior to distribution - and even then we will be in a pilot, which means we might change some of those rules, etc. Someone posted on here recently that there school has kids purchase an "insurance policy" that replaces the tablet if lost or stolen. Probably worth looking into.
Carrying cases would be a great idea. I ordered one but it was the wrong size. I'll have to try again.
Thanks, Sheri. I hope the teachers from my school will take a look at the resources you have listed. Much appreciated.