I have exciting news.
My classroom at school is now kitted out with an Apple TV and an Airport Express (Father Christmas did eventually deliver!) so I can wirelessly mirror my iPad onto my board at the front of the room. This has really got me thinking about the joy of untethering from my IWB, but also threw up some questions about my workaday apps for getting stuff on the board for my students.
I was looking at my collection of drawing apps which I could use as a whiteboard space for outlining concepts and jotting ad hoc material. I have quite a few and tested them out as pseudo-whiteboards / slates. I don’t tend to do lots of Keynote style presentations and like to have a more freeform set of tools. I came to a free app from Evernote which I hadn’t previously used much, called Skitch.
Skitch allows you to really instantly save your creations to Evernote: a perfect fit with my workflow. I already do all my lesson planning in Evernote and sync my notebooks across my various machines and mobile devices. I can then quickly and easily find and share the notes I make in class with colleagues or kids who are absent and need to catch up.
What’s more, Skitch+Evernote makes the perfect assessment tool. I can annotate screengrabs, photographs student work or even maps; display them on the board and instantly sync and share them via Evernote. One student whose homework is being monitored didn’t complete his handwritten assignment on Friday so I quickly snapped it on my iPad, annotated what needed improvement and emailed it within seconds to his pastoral leader. I also found it really handy to input a photo of a paper resource and have students annotate it on my iPad from anywhere in the room.
I’ve only been using this in my lessons for a day and already so many great ideas are surfacing: I am sure that Skitch will easily earn its place amongst my favourite classroom apps. I can certainly see it becoming the engine room of a student eportfolio. I love it when a workflow comes together!