A primer to tablet usage in the classroom: 10 apps, 3 accessories and 3 tricks
Editor’s Note: Many of you may know that I am president of the Business Technology Club at Kenan-Flagler Business School. My club has our own website/blog and recently my classmate Maciej Dudek wrote a phenomenal post on tablet usage in the classroom. In case you missed my tweet about it, I decided to repost a portion of it here. I hope all of the educators and students out there find it useful!
Congrats on your new tablet purchase, alternatively, congrats on taking the bold step in using it to take notes during class. Iâ€™ve spent the last Mod taking notes exclusively on my iPad 2 and I want to share with you, dear reader, some tips and tricks, along with my most often used apps that make note-taking possible.
I have jumped into the deep end of the cyber-pool and completely replaced paper use with my tablet, at least when it comes to schoolwork. I do all my note-taking, homework, and case-studies with my iPad laptop so that hardly any paper is used. You may wish to do the same, or pick and choose what you want to use your tablet for.
I havenâ€™t bought a lot of accessories for my iPad, but I did make two purchases that I felt were warranted (even on the student budget) Iâ€™ve purchased a case for my iPad and a stylus.
I had a feeling the iPad would get pretty beat up in my bag along with all the detritus I tend to throw in there and I wanted to protect my investment a bit. I opted not to get the official Apple smart cover mainly because the red version is $69.00 (only comes in leather) and I didnâ€™t like the colors of the $39 Polyurethane version. After much research I based my choice mainly on style (along with protection potential) and went with the Dodo Case. My only complaint is that the elastic band seems to be losing a bit of its namesake and is sagging a bit. I still recommend it, it is very stylish and chic, plus it disguises your iPad as a notebook (the paper kind) when not in use. It also places the iPad (once the front cover is folded under in landscape mode) at a slight angle which I find very helpful when taking notes in class.
No external keyboard?
I have noticed a few people taking notes on their tablets by typing on either external or virtual keyboards and I tried to follow suit. After struggling for a bit I ended up giving up, I was much faster writing with using a stylus. You may want to try going with the virtual keyboard for a while and see if it works before making the stylus purchase, all of the apps I mention later have a typed-note function built in.
I made two styli (styluses?) purchases, at first I went with the inexpensive ($10) Boxwave stylus from Amazon Prime. It worked quite well for everything except when it came to taking notes. The large tip made the writing experience a bit clunky, as you had to write unnaturally large. I went searching for an alternative and another student pointed me to the Adonit Jot. The Jot Pro was not available for purchase when I was shopping but you can get both versions now directly from Adonit or Amazon. ($19.99 for regular, and $29.99 for the Pro).
The Adonit Jot excels at note-taking on the tablet, apart from getting a bit noisy when Iâ€™m writing fast, but that could be just my style, though. Overall I am extremely happy with this purchase, although it is not that great for other uses. For example, its hard plastic ring doesnâ€™t work very well for touch gestures, and â€œpeckingâ€ at things on the screen is much easier accomplished using the soft-tipped Boxwave or your finger.
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