Welcome our Guest Blogger, Sara M. Davis, from the Teacher Education (EHHP), relays how she changed her class and teaching once all her students had tablets.


This semester I required all of my students to have a networked device, on which it easy to read and take notes, in class every day.  Additionally, I participated in the TLT Faculty Training Institute and learned a number of useful tidbits to do with an iPad.  Because of the device requirement and my training, I have been able to do a number of very exciting things in my classes.

  • Other than test, I have been able to go paperless in my courses and while not academically exciting; it is a huge help for flexibility of preparation and quite good for the environment.
  • I am using the OAKS Assignment Grader app with Dropbox for grading.  This allows me to access student documents posted to OAKS and write on them via the app as if on paper.  The app creates a .pdf of the annotated document and uploads it to OAKS for the student to review.  The app still has a ways to go for ideal usability, but it is still a useful tool.
  • I am using Notability to create keys and sample homework solutions to share with students on Oaks.  Before I would create this type of thing on paper, then scan and then upload.  Using Notability gives me creative utilities (e.g. copy and paste) not available with just paper. (Notability is a handwriting, annotation, and drawing app that allows you to create handwritten notes or import images/pdfs and annotate them.)
  • In one of my courses, students are required to keep notebooks of work and a learning journal.  My students have the option of doing these either digital or hard copy. Many are doing some really cool stuff with note taking and the notebook apps (such as Notability, UPad Lite, and OneNote).  My students this semester are the most organized that I have seen since coming to CofC.  The digital apps allowed foldering and the easy moving of documents from one folder to another.  This helped the students not lose their work and be able to get items in the correct location for notebook checks.
  • To facilitate students using devices, I make sure to upload .doc and PDFs of activity documents (when copyright allows) for them to use on desktops or in apps. Students have also gotten fluid with snapping a pic of a page, embedding the pic in a notes app and then doing work or taking notes around it.
  • I always bring the iPad digital projector adaptor to class and when students share strategies, if their work is on an iPad, they just bring it up and project.

I look forward to next semester where I will continue to do the above and also add the use of some polling apps to allow all students ideas to be seen in the group space to facilitate discussions.