I've just finished reading an article on http://www.teachthought.com titled “What's it going to take for teachers to give up their iPads?”
I'd like to start by saying that there aren't many teachers in FE that have access to up to date equipment for their vocational area let alone iPads, but that's not the point here, other things are available.
Teachers seem to be rather fond of iPads especially in the US where some schools buy whole sets of them for their students and teachers and then they build a whole school network around their use.
This isn't the US though and we are just starting to use devices in and around college work – think task based and blended learning scenarios.
Firstly it's not about the device, because there are a wealth of devices out there that are perfectly useable for a lot of tasks, unfortunately not all of them do everything including iPads. Sorry Apple fanboys! and girls.
The important thing to consider is what you are trying to achieve with the device and what software is out there that creates the best use of the device (or devices). I mention the plural because sometimes you're not limited to one device. How would you share a PDF document with you're students that is stored on you're PC if you're students have a range of different devices like iPads, android tablets and the corresponding phones that go with them, not forgetting Blackberrys too? What software can you find that will do this across all platforms? This is the important question.
I like Evernote for doing a lot of things and I've not really scratched the surface of what its capable of. I've used Google Drive in class too as it has a whole office suite built in in the form of Google docs. These are my main go to tools that I use daily. I have the loaned iPad too which I take into class with me. On the iPad I have installed the Evernote app along with Penultimate which is part of the Evernote family. Alongside these I have installed Notability as well, which at the moment is only available on the iPad but you can send any document you create as a PDF to other services including Evernote which is the main point for me.
So just with these few services I can create documents, share documents and manage documents on almost any device.
How could you use these services?
What about using Evernote as an E-portfolio? Nicholas Provenzano aka http://www.thenerdyteacher.com has written a good book about using Evernote in Education which describes how to get the best out of it.
Does anyone else use other apps or services for this kind of stuff?
I've recently come across Socrative too, which is an online voting system for use in class. I've not used it with my students yet but hopefully I will soon.
So get tapping away and tell me what you use and why.