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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Teach with your iPad

by Nathan Stevens
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 3 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 2.5 stars
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2012 by Teacher Education
Overview: This wiki supposes questions and provides answers to new iPad owners, and new iPad users who may also be in education. The wiki provides step-by-step instructions with screenshots and videos for setting up the iPad and synching it with iTunes. The wiki explains why the iPad will not replace the laptop and provides a link to a website that lists iPad accessories with a picture and a description of each. The wiki describes how to load applications (apps) onto the iPad and provides tips, descriptions and reviews (by the wiki creator) for apps he has used. The wiki lists many activity examples for how to use the iPad and apps in the classroom.
Learning Goals: The purpose of the site is to provide an overview of the use of an iPad in the classroom. Users of this wiki will be able to: Set-up and start using an iPad, choose and download apps useful to their purposes & choose learning activities for use at home or in the classroom.
Target Student Population: K-12, Higher Ed and beyond for any subject or discipline - useful for anyone in education who uses or wants to use an iPad in the classroom (or anywhere).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No special skills are needed to use the site; however basic computer skills might be needed for using the iPad or downloading iTunes to use for downloading apps. Also you would probably want to have an iPad.
Type of Material: This wiki, as it stands, could be considered as a collection of resources for use with the iPad or it could also be considered a tutorial for set up and use of the ipad.
Recommended Uses: Depending upon the perspective of the user, the site could be used as a resource for teachers to learn about using iPads and to get ideas for how to use them in the classroom. Or it could be used in the classroom to teach students how to use iPads and the learning activity apps.
Technical Requirements: No special technology requirements to navigate this site; however, in order to get the full benefit of the videos, a computer with sound card, and speakers or a headset should be used.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: The wiki covers the questions a new iPad user would use very succinctly providing enough detail for a low-tech person to understand. The list of apps and activities is very comprehensive. In addition to text, the content is supplemented with videos and screenshots that would support most users
Concerns: The wiki appears to have been created as a project in 2011 so some of the content may not be up-to-date. Some of the links go to empty pages.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: This wiki provides step-by-step directions for setting up and iPad out of the box, accessing and registering for and iTunes account, how to load apps onto the iPad and then offers detailed and comprehensive information on using the apps by categories such as subject, type, grade level & activity so if for example, an instructor wanted to have their class set up iPads, most grade levels (if students can read) could follow the directions on the wiki. If an instructor wants to set up an iPad, they could do so very efficiently and be up and running with suitable apps in very little time.
Concerns: The learning objectives are not clearly identified as such but are inherent within the title of the wiki and the listing of the top 4 questions a new iPad user would probably ask. The website does not provide a great deal of information on using the iPad as a teaching tool.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 2.5 stars
Strengths: The breaking down of this topic into just four questions makes for efficient use of time as it provides a good overview of the topic quickly yet allows the reader user to get into as much detail as they would like.
Concerns: Navigation and Aesthetics of this wiki could be improved: This wiki appears to be “unfinished” as the only page showing content is the Home page; however there are actually several pages of information accessible only by clicking on linked text within the content of the home page. There is a long listing of pages on the left navigation which have no content. Clicking on the links to the various pages listed is very confusing because they are all blank. Even more confusing is that much of the information that seems to be intended on the navigation bar link and should be included on the blank pages IS located via hyperlinks on the home page. Perhaps the owner of the wiki is waiting for others to join and add content to the blank pages? Or perhaps this was a project that ended when the college semester ended? Maybe some direction on the home page would be better and then the questions could be broken down into pages? Also excess scrolling is required. If the content is moved to the correct navigation links much of the scrolling would be eliminated. Overall, there is also too much white space; the video could be larger, many blank lines eliminated. The screenshots could also be improved as they are not easily read.