I had a conversation with a teacher last week who was bemoaning the lack of time to figure out the iPad. She knows she is supposed to use it in class, but she doesn’t have enough time to figure out how it works, let alone how to integrate it effectively into her lesson plans.
My answer to her was to play with it for fifteen minutes a day. That is how this blog started- I challenged myself to learn one new thing about the device per day. I spend a maximum of 15 minutes just figuring stuff out. This 15 minutes can be directed (you know exactly what you want to learn and set about learning it) or you can browse the app store or play with a particular app.
As adults, we tend to forget that the most effective way of learning something is to play with it. Hold it on your hands for awhile. Start pressing buttons. Meander. Get lost. Digress from your original intention. This will accomplishment 3 things:
1. You will take the pressure off yourself. Nothing is learned in a day and one can’t use a tool effectively without knowing which end is up. Learn it bit by bit, at your own pace without any other goal but to figure it out.
2. You will learn much more about it then if you were sitting in a workshop listening to someone rattle on (though that can be helpful too). Nothing beats trying and failing then trying again and succeeding. Nor is there any better way to to learn than setting your own goals, finding the information by yourself and then putting it into practise.
3. You will be much more at ease with the device and less scared of breaking it. The iPad is not a delicate little flower- it can take some wrong turns.
For those of you who need a bit more structured playtime, I have compiled a list of 43 things to learn on the iPad. The website 43 things, a popular goal setting website, actually has an app- you can download it, add your goals and then check it off when you have completed the task! ( I love lists. I love checking things off).
Here is how it looks:
And here is a list for you to plug in:
NOTE: Most of these topics have been covered on this blog. Use the handy search field to look it up. Also, don’t panic if you have no idea what I am talking about. If a term is unfamiliar to you and you can’t find it on this blog, use my motto: when in doubt, start googling!
- Configure your email.
- Add your contacts.
- Familiarize yourself with the multitasking gestures (listed in the settings–>general–multitasking gestures).
- Take a screenshot.
- Create a document in Pages. Email it to yourself.
- Create a document with Notes. Email it to yourself.
- Create a google doc using google drive on the iPad. Share it with someone. Collaborate in real time!
- Explore the whiteboard apps.
- Record one lesson using a whiteboard app.
- Check out the google doc of apps on the iLab.
- Check out a news aggregator app (e.g. Flipboard, etc.)
- Read a book on the iPad.
- Make a presentation in keynote.
- Facetime with someone.
- Make a short imovie.
- Upload it to your youtube account with the “private” settings.
- Take some photos with the iPad.
- Put the photos into albums.
- Put your apps into folders.
- Try typing with a split keyboard.
- Find a website you use a lot. Add it to your homescreen.
- Find a recipe app. Use your ipad as a recipe book.
- Record something with garage band.
- Browse apps in your subject.
- Watch a movie on your ipad.
- Make a passcode.
- Change the language of your keyboard.
- Sync your calendar with your google account.
- Use reminders.
- Search for the school and your house with the maps app.
- Print something from your ipad.
- Turn off auto-correct.
- Talk to Siri (if you have the iPad 3).
- Sync your apps with iCloud.
- Change the wallpaper of your iPad.
- Turn off keyboard clicks.
- Try making a quiz using socrative, a “smart student response system” in class.
- Dictate a list to your self with Dragon dictation.
- Make a spreadsheet in numbers.
- Try out dropbox for the iPad.
- Organise your bookmarks in Safari.
- Explore itunes U.
- Make your own list of 43 things to do on the iPad (because there is always more to learn!)