Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Common iPad/iOS Questions from Teachers

As I began developing presentations for upcoming iPad "basics" and "apps/advanced" sessions for the "Let's Talk Science" professional development (PD) series, a number of questions from past iPad training sessions with classroom teachers came to mind that I wanted to share.  From these past iPad inservice teacher training sessions, I quickly realized why classroom management needs to be an integral part of any technology PD initiative.  Topics ranging from "what is the best way to connect my iPad to a projector?" to lesson plan development that utilizes biology/productivity iOS apps and engaging instructional strategies, need to be (1) ongoing  and a collaborative effort between classroom teachers and administrators and (2) a priority in any technology/PD plan if there is to be any evidence of a "return on investment."  Below I have listed several questions that have become a recurring themes; especially for districts or individuals that have recently or are considering deploying an iPad 1-to-to computing program.
  1. Can I create an iTunes App Store account (i.e. an Apple ID) without having to use a Credit card?  Yes.  Read here to learn how to do this.
  2. What are some different options and equipment needed to mirror my iPad 2 through a projector?
    • Connect with VGA adapter.  
    • Connect with a digital AV adapter (via HDMI).
    • Connect wirelessly with an Apple TV.  This may not be typical of most classrooms, but the following must be in place:
      • Both the iPad 2 and Apple TV must be connected to the same WiFi network.
      • The projector (or monitor) must have an HDMI input port.  This allows you to connect the Apple TV to the projector via an HDMI cable.
      • Both the iPad 2 and Apple TV must be updated to iOS 5.
    • NOTE:  The full mirroring options listed above only works with the iPad 2 (and iPhone 4s) only.  "Full mirroring" means that you want to display your iPad 2 desktop and any app through the projector.  For the original iPad, mirroring only works for apps that enable mirroring such as sideshows in the Photo app or playing video via the Video app.  You can not mirror the desktop of the original iPad (iPad 1) using the methods above.
  1. What is iCloud?
  2. How do I set up iCloud on my iOS devices, Mac, and PC?
More questions will be added to this blog post as I, and others, encounter them with classroom teachers.  Also explore the Science, Math, and Productivity iOS Apps post for links to apps and integration ideas.  Feel free to add your frequently encountered questions and resources in the comments sections below.

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