TESOL is definitely an overwhelming experience. One has so much to explore that is almost impossible to see everything you want. While I was there I learned a lot from the presentations or workshops I attended. I saw things I already knew through a new angle and I also discovered some new things that I think is worth sharing with our teaching community. So, let me tell you about some iPad tricks and apps worth exploring.
Remote desktop access
There are solutions that allow you to control your desktop while walking around the class that do not rely on a wireless mouse. At TESOL, two teachers reported using two apps that have such affordances. One application that wirelessly mirrors your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch screens to any Mac or PC is Reflector. To allow desktop control you will have to install it to your PC and your device. Besides that, one can connect multiple devices to the same screen. One license allows you to install it in up to five PCs.
Another one that has the same feature is Doceri. Doceri also lets you control your desktop from your device (iPad, iPhone, iPod) with the added feature of transforming it into a smart board once it allows you to draw and annotate any file that can be shown on your Mac or PC. The drawback being that licenses have a price, the good thing is that they help us get rid of the cumbersome cable and let us roam free around class while displaying whatever is being shown in our mobile devices’ screens.. Reflector and Doceri allow free trials. So, you can download them and see how they work for you.
Giving control to students
If you have a blue tooth keyboard that connects to your device, how about connecting it to your iPad and creating interactive activities. You can pass it around class and your students can perform some tasks displayed on the big screen if you mirror your iPad using a cable or one of the apps suggested above. You could create quizzes or have a competition to answer questions. If you have more than one keyboard, it becomes even more interesting.
Turning your iPad into a Speaking Device
How about turning your iPad or iPhone into a speaking machine? To do this, you will just have to activate the text to speech feature. You will have to go to settings, general, accessibility, speak auto-text (turn it on), then choose the language. This will allow you to listen any text you select. It also reads out loud whatever you are typing. You can use to read your e-mails for you if you are busy doing something else. In class, you can use it for dictation or to improvise a listening comprehension task. By the way, you will have to adjust the speaking rate to turtle or hare on speak selection.