New and innovative ways to better use the iPad in teaching!
**This post has been updated January 2013 to show homeroom teachers how to duplicate a class for different subjects! Scroll to the bottom.
Teacherkit for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is a free app (iTunes link) for teachers that many iPad/iPhone users will find extremely useful in the classroom. This app, formerly known as TeacherPal, claims to be the “perfect teaching companion” for teachers. I would agree; I have used this app for over a year now, and have been very satisfied with what it can do. The latest update at the end of summer has brought with it many improvements.
As a teacher, one can do quite a number of useful things:
Here is the face-detection feature. Take a group shot of your class
and then easily add the student photos indivually from there.
Within the app is a help section with several topics that will likely answer any questions you may have regarding the app. I found these help articles quite useful when navigating through different scenarios.
Another useful idea that I thought of for TeacherKit is that the seating plans and classlists with student photos can be extremely useful for substitute/supply teachers. Simply take a screenshot of your class and email or print a copy for the substitute to know what the students look like and where they should be seated. Here is a sample class I made to illustrate the photos and seating chart.
Wishlist for future updates/improvements
The people working at TeacherKit are very open to suggestions from users. They mention that the following features are in the works:
That everything could sync via iCloud. Although this app works for all your iDevices, data is not synced. It would be great if teachers could access all their data on whichever device they were using. Wouldn’t it be great if you could quickly add some notes to a lesson or a student behavior while on your phone at home?
Easier access to “clone” or duplicate a class. Homeroom teachers will need to create a class for each subject that they teach. All data and info would carry over throughout the subjects. There currently is a way to do this, but it does require importing classes through iTunes.
**Update: Developers have now made duplicating class data quite easy. Here is how to do it:
1. Tap Edit in the top right, choose the class you want to duplicate
2. Tap the Export button, that is the one with the arrow pointing UP. You will have the following data to choose:
5. Rename the class (you will probably want to rename it the new class subject!) That’s it. Your new class will appear. As a homeroom teacher, you will now only need to repeat steps 4 and 5 to add additional subjects (no need to export again if it’s the same class list!)
For a free app, TeacherKit is definitely a no-brainer download for all teachers with iPads, iPhones, or iPod touches. Like most apps, it will take some time to get used to, but it will be time well-spent. Pretty soon you will be flying through all the neat features that it offers. The gradebook is a great feature, especially for teachers of younger grades. High school teachers with more specific weightings and grade distributions might find it too simplified and general. However, if you teach the elementary or intermediate grades, the offerings of the gradebook should suffice. You can fully control the weights of each assignment or assessment. As a supporter of going paperless, this app will undoubtedly reduce your paperwork with the amount of info it can carry. The learning curve for this app is not too steep. Give it a try this term.
Check out TeacherKit’s extensive website for more information, reviews and even some helpful videos.
Here is a short video description of TeacherKit (the voice is not mine):