10 Ways Get Tablet Happy in Your Classroom

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Today it's normal to see children on tablets wherever we may go. Restaurants, libraries, public transport, and schools - it's very apparent how much technology is shaping the world that we live in, and well, more importantly the world they live in. There is much ongoing debate about whether being stuck to one of these handy little gadgets is the way forward, but you can't argue with the fact that there is so much educational value to owning one. There are apps for teaching anything and everything, ranging from life skills to your six times tables, and although there are plenty of safety implications to consider, we feel it's definitely a band wagon to jump on.

From submitting work to creating student forums, tablets have a variety of uses -- least of all acting as a reliable communication method when students have to work together on writing or projects. So take a look at our top ten ways to get tablet happy in your classroom. Spice up your lesson plans and change up the norm...

1. 360

Google wants students everywhere to begin experiencing the world in virtual reality. Launch a 360-degree video in  YouTube and children can tilt it around to see the view as they move.

2. Podcasts

Practice non-fiction reading skills by having your students do weekly or monthly podcasts on an interesting current event. Pocket Casts and Beyondpod are fantastic apps for recording material and editing for future use.

3. Blog Away

Create a class blog over the year that you are together and document your journey to look back on. Posting short blurbs of interesting content such as quotes, videos and photos are a quick and easy way for students to get stuck in and showcase their work/thoughts. Tumblr has useful features for posting content, scheduling posts, viewing and replying to messages, and you can even manage multiple Tumblr blogs with the app so that other classes can get involved too!

4. Visit Countries

Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. Tell your pupils let their imagination run wild and take a Geography trip from the comfort of your own classroom.

5. Five Minute Breaks

Many state that most healthy teenagers and adults are unable to sustain attention on one thing for more than about 20 minutes at a time, so a quick five-minute brain teaser is a clever way of keeping everyone

6. Monitor Attendance

TeacherKit helps you organize classes and students easily. Create a seating chart, record attendance, log behavior, and track grades all with few taps. TeacherKit lifts the headache of routine administration, allowing you to focus on what really matters.

7. Classroom OR Game Show?

Show of Hands is an easy-to-use polling tool - use it powerful engine to ask your own questions. With it, you can get anonymous answers and have instant discussions with your pupils/between themselves to come up with conclusions to subject topics and classroom quizzes.

8. Special Effects

Cinefy lets you add some of the best Hollywood effects to videos that you and your class have created. Share class trips with the parents or put together cool projects that you can show off with other teachers. As this media further matures, students may need to be able to express themselves as effectively through moving imagery as with the written word, so get cracking!

9. Social Media Savvy

Today, students are constantly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and likely many sites that we’re just not hip enough to know about, so it's vital that we teach them how to use them all wisely. Create a private Facebook/instagram account for your class, on which you can post assignments, wonderful work, make announcements, and remind students about important deadlines - parents could also access the site to monitor what is going on and keep up to date with progress! Make sure you cover the importance of online safety in lessons and always make sure that what you post on the internet is strictly for your eyes only.

10. Learn to Code

Believe it or not you can teach introductory coding with just an iPad! You'll be surprised how easy it is for everyone, including children. Code.org uses colourful drag and drop blocks, kid-friendly tutorial videos and Angry Birds to teach the basics of programming. Pretty impressive!

Got some of your own great ideas to share? Tweet us at @staffroomed!