I have a Nexus 7 [30min]

and I haven’t found anything really good to do with it for education.

I’ve always had a weird relationships with technology; I’m sometimes an early adopter (e.g. I bought an Apple II in 1979), but in other areas, I almost refuse to participate (e.g. I bought my first cell phone (rarely used) in 2011).  I’ve had a similar approach to the use of technology in the classroom.  I’ve posted course materials on the web since probably 1990, but only recently have used anything but chalk and chalkboard (or marker and whiteboard, if necessary).  So last year I bought a Nexus 7 with some grant money with the intent of seeing how I might use it in my classroom. So far, it’s been a great toy/reader/web surfer but I haven’t found a way of using it effectively.  But i have tried:

  • I have switched to using a projection system in class, with a smart board, and so I first thought I’d try to use the Nexus as a remote control or remote screen for my laptop/display. I tried various apps, but I found two main problems; the connection/response was too slow, and (probably related) the precision for drawing/selecting was too coarse.  My handwriting is bad enough without adding a couple of noise-generating connections between me and the projected results.
  • The second idea was to use it as a note keeper. In one class I spent a fair amount of time interacting with the students as they worked on projects, etc. and I wanted a way to record feedback that I could send to them and keep a copy for myself. Again, I tried various apps, and never really found anything that would let me do what I wanted. Again part of the problem is trying to enter handwritten data on the Nexus (without a stylus, which might fix it some).
  • Then I ran out of big ideas. I did use it as a timer for presentations once, and for an alternate screen for web-surfing, but never really found a good way to integrate it with everything else. (Part of the problem is/was that I’m already have my laptop and the smart screen in use, and a third is, well, a third-wheel)

So I’m still looking and trying. I have a thought that some sort of interactive/adaptive interface ala Star Trek, that would understand the way I work and would have appropriate pre-printed (so no writing) options available. So, if you are an app developer, then there’s an idea for you; I can guarantee you a least one sale (if it’s not too expensive).

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