Welcome to Episode 3 of our weekly Educational Technology Cast! This week, we’re talking about two cool apps for teaching and learning: iBooks and Socrative.
iBooks is one you may be familiar with already — it’s essentially a virtual library for your iPhone or iPad that offers a slick user interface for reading, highlighting, and notetaking. A category you may not have come across yet, because it’s only available on the iPad (not the iPhone), is iBooks Textbooks. The iBooks Textbooks are interactive touch-screen texts with rich multimedia features. We tested a chemistry textbook and an ESL textbook, and both offered similar features including easy-to-read text, resizable images, integrated videos, and exercises for student review (multiple choice, drag-and-drop, and more).
Another feature of iBooks that’s especially useful for teachers and students is the PDF library, which allows you to open PDFs directly within the iBooks app. Storing your syllabi or frequently needed documents in the PDF Library allows you quick access to them and a reader-friendly interface.
We recently featured iBooks in our App of the Week.
If you’ve ever been curious about clickers, Socrative is a great alternative to CPS or Turning Point clickers, which you either have to purchase or check out from a campus office. Socrative is a free app that can be downloaded on any mobile device and allows students to interact with instructional games, surveys, tests, and other classroom activities directly from their own device (people sometimes refer to this kind of setup as a “BYOD” or “Bring Your Own Device” classroom).
Teachers log in through their device and select an activity like multiple choice questions, a survey, or game. Students log in with their device and interact with the teacher’s activity. The results can be projected onto the classroom screen, offering a great snapshot of class both for the teacher and for the students themselves. For pre-planned activities, a teacher can view reports online as a Google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file.
We featured Socrative in last week’s App of the Week.
Join us next week for the next episode of the EdTechCast! And, as always, we invite you to leave us comments and suggestions here on our blog, or email us at AL_IS&D@nvcc.edu.
You might also be interested in:
iPod in Education: The Potential for Language Acquisition