iPad Exploration

iPad Exploration
Professional Development - iPads
Educators or Students
Time Frame:
6 - 12 hours (12 for those groups who follow tangential conversations)
Teachers will work individually, in small groups and as a whole group to explore the iPads interface, apps, books, pdfs, and audio/video content.
  1. If you are brand new to the iPad and haven't used an iPhone or iPod touch, you might want to watch this video covering iPad Multitouch Basics. Or, you might want to just dive in with Step 2 below. Just double-check by the end of the workshop you understand:
    • tap, pinch, swipe, flick, drag
    • how to rotate your screen
    • how to make folders
    • multitasking
  2. Built-In Apps: MiniChallenges
    • Step 1 - With a partner, complete the following iPad MiniChallenges. There may be more than one way to complete a challenge. (You shouldn't need to download any additional apps at this point.)
    • Extension - In pairs, have teachers watch one of the Guided Tours videos and write a challenge or two for their colleagues to try.
    • Step 2 - Complete a Think-Pair-Sharefocusing on the affordances/constraints of using the MiniChallenge approach in place of step-by-step instruction with your students.
      • Think - In the notes app, make a list of affordances and constraints of using the MiniChallenge approach in place of step-by-step instruction with your students
      • Pair - With a partner, share your lists and compare your thoughts. Add any other ideas as needed. Pick your top 2-3 for both affordances and constraints if you have more than 3.
      • Share - As a whole group share your top 2-3 affordances and constraints and compare your lists. If some ideas belong in both sections, make sure to clarify why.
  3. App Exploration
  4. iBooks (ePubs & PDFs)
    • Step 0 - Download the iBooks app (free) if needed.
    • Step 1 - With a partner, select a book to download and then read/explore.
      • Check out the Top Free Books in Apple's iTunes Store. Or,
      • Search the iTunes Store for Project Gutenberg books (free). There are a lot! You may want to use this page to search first, Project Gutenberg, then use the search tool in the iTunes Store to search for the title.
    • Step 2 - With your partner, try these ePub Challenges
      • How do you move around the book? (At least 3 ways)
      • How do you bookmark a page? Can you have more than 1? How can you find your bookmark later?
      • How do you look a word up in the dictionary?
      • How do you highlight a section? Can you change the color of your highlighter?
      • How do you add a note? Can you change the color of your note?
      • How do you search for a particular word or phrase?
      • Need help? Ask your partners first. If you still need more help, watch this video - iBooks Guided Tour.
      • Consider the idea of Annotexting as a way some of the above technical capabilities could be used.
    • Step 3 - Download a PDF or two to explore.
    • Step 4 - With your partner, answer the following questions:
      • Which of the abilities explored during Step 2 above for ePubs also work for PDFs?
      • Which don't?
      • Is there anything you can do with a PDF that you can't with an ePub?
    • Extra Challenge - How do you organize your books into collections?
    • Another Extra Challenge - What about books that are apps?
  5. Optional - Creating your own ePub books and PDFs on your iPad or Mac
  6. Textbooks
  7. Audiobooks
    • Step 1 - With a partner, download an audiobook to listen to using the links below:
      • LibriVox (iTunes link) or LibriVox (website - easier to search, but requires knowledge of how to download book in Safari and import book into iTunes)
      • Lit2Go
    • Step 2 - With your partner, complete the following Audiobook Challenges
      • Which app contains the book? Within which section?
      • How do you "rewind," "fast forward," and "pause" the book?
      • If you don't finish, how do you get back to where you were?
    • Step 3 - Even more audiobook sources. Check out one or both of the following sources for audiobooks available for purchase:
      • Visit the Kids & Young Adults section of the iTunes store. Select a few books and tap the preview button to listen to a 90 second preview.
      • AudibleKids
      • How do these books and readers compare to those available from LibriVox or Lit2Go?
    • Step 4 - With your partner, listen to Neil Gaiman Asks: Heard Any Good Books Lately?
    • Step 5 - Read the article - AudiobooksOniPods.pdf
    • Optional - Create your own audiobooks
  8. T-P-S - What affordances and constraints do these books offer? How will the affordances help your students’ learning? (Including those who need special support or those ready to move at a faster pace.)
    • Think-Pair-Share - Use the following quadrant chart to think about the affordances and constraints of these iPad books. You may want a different chart for each type of book or just lump them together on one. Don't forget to consider the teacher AND student perspectives within each quadrant.
  9. Audio/Video Content - Amazing FREE content, and some rubbish.
    • Step 1 - With a partner, explore some interesting, preselected content, Podcasts & iTunes U Content, from the iTunes Store.
    • Step 2 - With a partner or in a group of four (but working with a partner), learn to search the iTunes Store for content you might find useful professionally for yourself or for your classroom. Have 1 person or pair start with the Podcasts section and the other work with the iTunes U section. Then, show each other what you found and how you found it. Make sure to discuss similarities and differences between the content, it's organization, and the providers available in each section.
    • Step 3 - T-P-S (Think-Pair-Share)
      • How could this content change the professional development opportunities available to you, your school, or district?
      • How could this content be used in your classroom/school by all students, for individualized learning, for days missed due to weather, for students with special interests, for students with special needs, etc?
      • How does this relate/connect to the idea of a Flipped classroom?
      • Would the content for students be best viewed individually, in pairs/small groups, or whole class? How would you facilitate that? Would the answer be the same for all grade levels?
  10. Optional - Content Creation Apps (though also covered in module 3 above)
  11. Multitasking, Workflow, App Smashing
  12. Project Design - This probably needs to become its own 1-2 day workshop
  13. Optional - Assessment - For those completing the Content Creation Apps module above
  14. Optional - Accessibility
  • To understand how iPads can be used for curricular objectives
  • To understand the affordances/constraints of iPads & apps
  • To learn basic iPad skills
  • To modify/create a project to use in the classroom in the next week or two
  • You could assess the projects teachers design
  • You could assess the implementation of teachers' projects (are the students' engaged, learning with the tool, learning about the tool, etc.)
  • You could assess the teachers' reflective editing of their project upon completion with the students
  • Links to teacher or student examples.


Jordy Whitmer