Thursday, January 5, 2012

iP@ds in the classroom: Collaborative Annotating #EngChat #EdChat

Part of the iPad pilot had the devices staying in the classroom. I quickly saw the limitations, but that is a topic for another post. I need to focus my energies on creating lessons allow the kids to function in a shared tablet environment.

We have just started Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and the students have a hard copy at home to read and there is a digital version on iBooks. On iBooks, students can highlight and annotate passages they feel are important. I think this is a valuable skill for students to master, but it is difficult to teach without making many paper copies. So, I devised a plan yesterday.

Each student is assigned a specific tablet and they sit in tables of five. The tables were assigned a chapter to annotate. The students had already read the chapter the night before, so it was a quick re-read looking for four specific themes discussed in class. At a table of five, four students would work on one theme each and the fifth student acts as a secretary to record all of the annotations on his iBook.

At the end of the allotted time (15 mins), the secretary connects to the projector, via Apple TV, and present their group work to the class while others follow along and add those notes to their iBook.

Since each iPad will be at a different table, each student will be working on different chapters so the iBook will be mostly filled out by the three student users.

I love the idea of students being able to look at the thoughts of other students and see why passages are important to them. This really brings collaboration to an entire new level. The kids said the really liked highlighting the book and leaving notes. This could be a completely different way to teach a novel in my class.

I'll keep you posted on any new developments!

- @TheNerdyTeacher


  1. Collaborative annotating is a great idea. I have yet to get my students reading full-length titles on our iPads. We do a lot of writing and short reads. I think you may have inspired me to load a novel and begin the reading journey, marking our text-trails as we go. Thanks for sharing!

  2. If you use the same iTunes store account on the devices, you can automatically sync the highlights. Turn on syncing in Settings > iBooks > Sync Bookmarks > ON.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Nick! I can do this with a novel we are reading in my 4th grade class..sounds like such a great way to invigorate the group discussions and make sure everyone participates.

  4. Very informative one. Thanks for this useful stuff.

    The Classroom

  5. Hi!
    My name is Heather and I work for Worth Ave. Group. We’re currently holding a contest for K-12 teachers to win grants for their schools, and iPads or iPods for their classrooms. If you’re interested in participating, feel free to email me or visit the link I’ve posted below.
    Have a great day!

  6. While there so much available tools to effectively utilize social media, there is no denying that there are so much distractions as well to get students to focus. Funding school initiatives for e-learning should be a collaborated effort between teacher organizations and local communities.


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