Our middle school has been one to one for the past two years and I love it. I mostly have the students work on Google Documents (Drive). The best things about Google Documents are that it is free, updates instantly, allows students to collaborate, and there is no software required. I occasionally use Khan Academy problem sets for students to practice their basic skills. I like it because students can easily find the next topic to work on once they are proficient in one topic. I don’t love that I can’t chose the level of problems they work on, some of the topics aren’t covered, and some of the question sets are too broad (or advanced) for my students. Plus, even though I have directed them where to go next on Khan academy, students often jump to things like one step addition and subtraction just to gain points. I have been using ThatQuiz.org lately too. I really love all of the options that I can pick AND that I can create my own quizzes! I have been using this for extra practice, and to see how my students are doing on their basic skills. My big problem here is just finding the time to create more assessments.
Our 9th grade is piloting an iPad program this year. I have an iPad, but I can’t say I love it. Google Documents are almost impossible to use on an iPad. I also can’t edit my wiki pages either. I’ve heard there is a way around this, and I tried but didn’t find it. Since GDocs and wiki’s are 90% of what I do for my classes, my iPad hasn’t been of much use to me this year. It’s just a big old iPhone that isn’t even a phone! So, I’m very excited to hear if there is something actually useful for that big old waste of money, and not just “cool” because it is an iPad. If you don’t feel like writing a blog (or don’t write a blog), you can leave me a comment to tell me why you love iPad’s for your math classroom, OR even to help you out in your classroom if your students don’t have them. But, we only have one iPad (mine) right now, so as much as I love Apple and my Mac, I’m just not on board with iPads for students right now. The benefits would have to be very high to outweigh the costs, especially since all of our students have laptops. So, what I am also wondering is, given the choice, would you rather your students have laptops or iPads?