Innovation: Education

4 ways to use an iPad1 in the classroom

Making the most of an original generation iPad

4 ways to use an iPad1 in the classroomYes, you read that right: you can definitely still use an iPad1 in your classroom. Sure, not every app out there will work on it, and the iPad1’s lack of a camera is still fairly insurmountable, but this original version of the revolutionary edtech tablet still has legs, especially if you’re not in a 1:1 situation.

Because remember: at the end of the day, it’s not about the device, but how you use it.

Know how to find compatible apps

Original iPads can only be upgraded to iOS 5.1, but there are still apps that work with that iOS, and a surprising number of apps that have moved on to be compatible with iOS 8 and later maintain versions that the App Store will offer when you try to download them.

If you try to download an app that’s not compatible, the iPad will let you know, so to save time, you can always check online at sites like this one for a list of which apps still work. There are a surprising number of them. So here’s 4 ways t0 use an iPad1 in the classroom, pulling from that app pool.

1. Do research

It’s hard to argue that access to the web is now a fundamental part of student research. The iPad 1’s Safari browser is still perfectly functional, and that alone makes any iPad 1 a valuable tool for just jumping online and looking for supporting documents or media. Wikipedia? Check. Mystery Skype? Check. Skype is compatible with iOS 5.1.1. As are all of these:

4 uses for the iPad1 in the classroom
Yes, this shot was taken on an actual iPad1. Because they still take and share screenshots, too.

 

Back up data to the iCloud

A number of workflow items are accessible on the original iPads (you can view and annotate PDFs, transfer data via FTP, share drawings or diagrams, for instance) but perhaps one of the most useful features of the original iPads is that whatever you and your students wind up doing with them, they’re still easy to back data up to the iCloud.

2. Use it for multimedia

Despite the obvious drawback of not having a camera, the original iPad still has much room for audio and video viewing and editing. Apps such as TuneIn radio and YouTube? Still fine on the iPad 1. As are:

4 uses for an iPad1 in the classroom
Yup, another live-action iPad1 shot. Viva VPR!

Podcasting? An iPad 1 can do that. Check out My Memos. Want to edit video? Once a video is on the tablet, you can pull it into My Movie and get to snipping.

3. Read ebooks on it

Boom! Kindle all day, even for books with embedded audio and video.

4 uses for an iPad1 in the classroom
A screenshot from “America, The Story of Us, Book 2: Creating the West”

 

4. Let students show you what else it can do or become

Of course, we likely don’t know what the most powerful thing an iPad 1 can do. And neither do you. But your students might.  So just hand it over and step back. That’s right. That’s all you’ve got to do. Don’t let the age or perceived quality of a device get in the way of what it could become in the right pair of hands.

Author

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs.

Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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