|thanks to David B. Spalding|
For a while, I had a nice, light Asus Eee netbook. It was easy to slip into my case, or even my purse, and it allowed me to keep up with email between classes at the library (thanks to free wifi, yeah!). Its screen was too small to do much other than that and it was kind of slow, to boot. But it sufficed until The Meltdown. That's when I started hauling my heavy laptop to and fro. Not good. First, if something happened to it, it would cost a lot to replace. Second, my back has been paying the price, ouch! So, now I can check email on the iPad. Hubby included a wireless keyboard in the gift package, so I can also do serious typing when necessary.
In what other ways might this gadget be of assistance to a roving ESL teacher who works in makeshift classrooms? I have some ideas. For example, students who have smartphones share personal photos with each other (student-provided input). They also use them as multi-lingual dictionaries and for reference (making input comprehensible). Recently, a student was talking about a favorite meal from his home in Puerto Rico and he looked up a picture of a conch shell and passed it around. I can use the iPad in the same way. Since its screen is bigger, maybe I can share without passing it around. I'm also planning to hook the iPad up to a cheesy old TV and use it as a poor man's (lady's?) IWB. I've done this with my laptop and it was very useful. YouTube alone was worth the price of the S-cable! I had to buy another cable for the iPad. Sure hope it works, because it set me back 50 bucks!
Of course, there is a lot more that could be done. Rather than surf up the Top 500 Ways You Can Use Your Gadget in Class, I'd like to identify needs and then see if "there's an app for that". I'd really like to avoid AASS (Apps for Apps' Sake Syndrome)!