This blog post is continued from the post last week on iPod Touch and iPad accessories for the classroom. The first post provides examples of screen protectors, covers, cases, and stands that are useful accessories to purchase to increase the longevity and usability of the mobile devices. This post will focus on styluses, keyboards, headphones, adaptors, and connection cables should all be considered when purchasing these portable devices. All these accessories increase the ease of use of the devices in the classroom setting for both teachers and students.
Styluses & Keyboards
If the iPad’s are going to be used as a laptop replacement device in the classroom, it is worth the investment of Bluetooth wireless keyboards. Students can type up documents for class more efficiently. The onboard keyboard is useful, but it gets tedious if you have to type or edit longer documents. Apple has a very versatile keyboard that can hold up to daily use by students. It is slim and compact, would travel easily for a mobile classroom. Users have rated this is an easy to use a keyboard and is similar in layout and spacing when compared to a traditional keyboard.
The use of a stylus with the iPod Touch or the iPad is a great addition for younger students or students who may have difficulty using the touch screen method. Many styluses are small and not made for young students. One stylus that has gotten great ratings for students is the AluPen. Viewer ratings state that it is easy to grip, more responsive, glides smoothly, and allows for more accurate writing and drawing.
Headphones are definitely a necessity in any computer lab, even a mobile lab. This allows students to listen to academic-based websites like Learning Today, educational videos from TeacherTube, or sound embedded into Apps. I required students to bring in headphones as part of their school materials at the beginning of the year. I ask for the ear bud style headphones so they are easy to store in their backpacks. This may not work for all students or all situations. Some labs provide headphones to students. They should be durable and easily sanitized after each use. If they have headphone pads, they should be able to be cleaned or replaced.
Adaptors & Connection Cables
The iPod Touch & iPad 2 only come with a wall charger and a UBS sync cable to connect it to the computer. These cables will not be enough to use the devices in a classroom setting. At minimum, a digital adaptor or an AVG cable will be needed for the teacher in order to model the use of the iPad on a screen or interactive board.
For a mobile lab, there also must be a way to sync all of the devices easily at one time. You must also have a storage device that will allow for easy transportation throughout a school. This syncing storage device should also provide security and lock when the devices when not in use.
What are your favorite iPod Touch and iPad accessories?
Article By Laura Ketcham
Picture By smemon87