Teaching in the One iPad Classroom: Part 1

Many schools and districts across the U.S. are moving towards more of a digital approach to teaching and learning. With that being said, many of us are making the transition very slowly, perhaps one iPad at a time. So I had a sweet blogger friend, Nicole from Teaching with Style, ask me for some advice on teaching with one iPad in the classroom. She wanted to know what apps she needed and how to use them with her iPad for instruction. So here you go Nicole and anyone else who is wondering how to teach in a one iPad classroom!

First, you will need some way to stream or mirror your iPad to your computer which is hopefully connected to your Promethean Board or Smart Board. Nicole was fortunate enough to receive an Apple TV to mirror her iPad. My school uses a program very similar called AirServer. It can be found for download {HERE}. Please note that you must pay for the license, but you can download a 7-day free trial to check it out. It basically does the same thing an Apple TV would do, but through your computer that is connected to your board. Your class will be able to see what's on your iPad on your board.

Once you have decided on a way to stream or mirror your iPad's contents, you will swipe up from the bottom of your iPad and choose one of the two options seen below depending on if you're using AirServer or Apple TV.

Next, you will need two different apps. There are many out there, but these are the two that I have found the easiest to use. You will need the Dropbox app and the Notability app. You can download them from the App Store straight to your iPad. Dropbox is an online storage system where you will drop documents that you will need to access on your iPad. You will put the documents into Dropbox using the Dropbox website. Dropbox is free unless you want to upgrade to a bigger storage capacity.

Next you will find the document you want to open in the Dropbox app on your iPad, then click the icon to open the file in the Notability app. See the pictures below.

Once you do the actions above, you will have to import the document into the Notability app next. It will prompt you with the screens below. Just choose "Create New Note" and then click "OK" to import the entire document (all pages) into the app.

If you see it in the list, you've done it correctly! Just tap the document to open it up and scroll through the pages.

If you imported a multi-page document, the first thing you will want to do is find the page you want to write, type, or highlight on. You can do this (more quickly than scrolling) by clicking on the icon in the top right corner to see thumbnails of all the pages in your document. Just touch the page you want to use and it appears!

Once you have found the page, you can touch the icon again to turn the thumbnails off so that the whole page is visible. Then you can have fun playing with the toolbar at the top of the screen for different options. If you choose the pencil, you can write, change colors, change strokes, the thickness of the stroke, etc. If you want to type, you can click the lowercase t icon and choose different fonts, colors, sizes, etc. I often type on the page, because it's difficult to write with neat handwriting on the iPad, even with a stylus. You can see an example of handwriting a few pics down. If you choose the highlighter, you can change colors and width. This is GREAT for marking up text or finding text-based evidence in passages! You can erase by choosing the eraser tool and dragging over what you want to erase. There are lots of options. Just explore them and play around with it to find what you want!

Helpful Tip: If you choose to write on the iPad like the picture shows below, I HIGHLY recommend using a stylus. You can purchase them for around $5-10 at most stores now. You will also want to use the screen by dragging the icon shown in the picture below so that you can rest your palm on the bottom portion of the page while you write. Sliding the screen up makes certain that you don't accidentally write at the bottom or scroll the pages using your palm on accident as you're writing at the top. It will make sense when you play around with it! You will move the screen down as you write further down on the page.

So there you have it - a brief introduction to utilizing technology in a one iPad classroom! I hope this has been helpful. I will be back next week with another idea using the same two apps shown above! So stay tuned! :)


  1. Thank you Jamie. That was awesome!!

  2. Best blog I have seen in a while. Thanks for working on it! Now....all we need are your 'other' favorite apps!!

  3. Love this!! Just shared your ideas on my Five on the Fifth post. Thanks for sharing your great ideas with us!

    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  4. Would getting airstream or Apple TV allow you to not have to hook up your ipad with a VGA adapter to show it on the board?