January 26, 2015
Create Interactive Lessons for iPad – Guest Post from Bart Buckinx
This guest post from Bart Buckinx (@bartbuckinx) first appeared on Daily Genius.As a teacher, you are used to create your own lessons. The xerox, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint are your trusted companions. But how can you effectively use iPads in your lessons? The ebooks provided by publishers are mostly static and just not interesting enough for today’s students. Some educational apps are great, but finding the rights ones, figuring out how they work and getting them installed on all student devices can be a hassle. Aren’t there easy ways to create your own materials for iPad? Yes, there are! Try these:
1. Re-use your existing materialAll the material you’ve put together over the years isn’t lost. A simple way to re-use them is to convert them to PDF, either by exporting them from Word or Powerpoint (or most other apps) or by scanning them in if all you have is paper copies. Students can view and annotate PDFs on their iPad using PDF Expert, GoodReader or one of the many other PDF readers available on the App Store. If you really want to give those old Word docs an upgrade, convert them into an iBook by importing them into iBooks Author. From there, it’s just a small step to enhance them with interactive widgets such as those found on BookWidgets, Bookry, or those available from within iBooks Author.
2. Modernize your presentationsMost lessons involve some amount of teachers explaining and students listening. Powerpoint or Keynote were probably trusted companions in the past, but you can do more than that:
- Prezi is a neat way to create captivating, modern presentations.
- NearPod is a popular app that allows to add some interactive elements (like a quick poll question) to presentations and even has a store where you can buy ready-made presentations you can use as a starting point.
- Finally, Explain Everything is a favorite among many teachers. Basically, Explain Everything is an interactive whiteboard, where you can record yourself as you explain a topic. Students can watch and rewatch this on their iPads as needed, so it’s a great study aid and can also be used to implement differentiated learning quite easily.