Tuesday, March 26, 2013

But it didn't work!

When using iPads in the classroom, not every site works as anticipated.  iPads do not do flash or java applets, so if you send the kids to a site that relies on flash or java, it won't work.  I discovered that one day when I sent kids off to a virtual manipulative web site.  It didn't work so I hurriedly readjusted my plans.  I did research and discovered the iPad's limitations.  So off I went to figure out how to do what I wanted to do without pulling my hair out. 
First thing I did was go to the app store to check things out.  I found Rover which is a browser designed to be used by k-12. It is actually a cloud based flash streaming platform that allows iPad users to access flash based websites. It is a bit slow at times but it allows students to access more sites than in the past. It may run a bit slow for me since we sometimes have bandwidth issues and that often slows down all internet usage.
I do have to try the web page in the web browser on the iPad to see if it works.  If not, I go to Rover and if it works, great, if not then I look for alternate sites.
One website I use quite often is www.mathisfun.com  It has pre-algebra, algebra geometry and algebra II materials.  One reason I like it so much is that in addition to explaining the material, it also has a quiz to go with most of the topics.  I can have the students take the quiz, write down  their work and answers and turn it in.
The thing about the iPad is learning what works and what does not.