Even before the iPad reached the shelves, it was heralded as a revolutionary educational tool. A year-and-a-half, and two versions later, the iPad has been deployed or entered into pilot programs in many universities and colleges across the United States. At least 600 public school districts have done so as well, not to mention the countless units brought to campus by students and faculty.
How are educators using the iPad? Teachers are using it to assign reading from electronic textbooks, provide assessments, communicate with their students, show video lessons, and access educational apps.
However, many experts believe that the iPad and other tablets are hardly reaching their full potential in the classroom. All too often, they are simply used with the same underlying pedagogy with a 21st Century twist. Students who might ordinarily use flash cards to study suddenly get flash card apps. Graphing calculators get replaced by graphing apps and so on. Notable exceptions to this practice, though, are emerging regularly. Modern approaches to formative assessments, truly interactive texts, and collaboration apps are pushing the tablet platform closer to the revolution for which we’d all been hoping.
WizIQ is now joining the ranks of these notable exceptions. We’ve created an iPad app for the WizIQ Virtual Classroom. This application is an extension of its desktop counterpart, geared mainly towards students. A simple user interface lets students focus on learning – not the technical wizardry and novelty of a shiny new tablet.
The WizIQ Virtual Classroom app offers all of the key features that users enjoy from their desktop web browsers without concern for Flash support on the iPad and all in the palms of their hands. With this app, students can:
- Attend online classes from virtually anywhere.
- Connect to class video and audio with complete echo cancellation – no more headsets (unless they just can’t part with those white earbuds)!
- View presentations, reports, documents, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, and multimedia files – whatever the instructor shares on-screen.
- See the whiteboard with all of its special elements, and write on it when the instructor hands over whiteboard controls. Add a stylus to the mix and see what a shared interactive whiteboard can really do!
- Chat publicly via text with all participants or privately with the teacher.
- Raise their hands in class for questions or comments.
- Give instant feedback through polls as shared by the teacher.
The app will be available in beta to a limited number of members in November. You can request an invite for the app here. We will notify you when we launch and will keep you posted on the Android app we’re developing as well.
Update – Here’s the link to a recent press release: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/wiziq-announces-ipad-application-for-the-wiziq-virtual-classroom-1574914.htm