TeachingTactics: Effective Practices for Teaching with iPads and Other Mobile Devices


This document outlines TeachingTactics for using the iPad as an effective teaching tool in your course. Our aim is to provide guidance and suggestions for basic use of the aforementioned technology.  If you are interested in documentation regarding the use of this technology for the specific purpose of Student Engagement, please see our 10 Strategies for Engaging Students with iPads and Other Mobiles.

What is iPad?

The iPad is a type of tablet computer that can perform such functions as taking pictures, playing music, recording and viewing videos, and browsing the Internet. Features of the iPad can greatly be enhanced by installing third party applications which can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store. These features can be commandeered by faculty members for instructional purposes. This documents contains third party application links that will take you to the App Store if you are browsing this document on an iPad.

It should also be noted that this document is essentially addressing mobile devices, and although Academic Technology Services has no affiliations with Apple, or the iPad specifically, ATS is concerned with student accessibility, and the following links provide some insight into why the iPad is the favored choice in that regard: Accessibility concerns, DOJ statement on accessibility and mobiles

You can access the most recent iPad User Manuals here: Apple Support - Manuals

TeachingTactics: Effective Practices for Teaching with iPads and Other Mobile Devices

#1: Properly Set Up your iPad

The Basics: Apple is known for making technology use simple, and the iPad initial setup is no different, but even so, here are a few tips to help you make it through the process of navigating the setup on our campus. After the setup walk-through don’t forget to:

#2: Record Your Lectures Anywhere, Anytime

The basics: You may want to record your lectures for your online, hybrid or face-to-face courses. iPad is designed to be portable. This mean that you may easily take your iPad anywhere you go. iPad is also equipped with built in front and back cameras and microphones. Thus an iPad can easily be employed for recording lectures.

Variations on the approach: Assume that you are away and attending a conference. You may use your iPad to record your lecture in your hotel room using your iPad and upload it to Kaltura, YouTube or ScreenCast easily for your students to review.

App to power this strategy:

#3: Create Interactive Course Materials with iBooks Author

The basics: With iBooks Author, you can create interactive multi-touch textbooks that may include embedded images, movies, and links to the Internet resources. You may also use our MNSU iBooks template to create great looking textbooks for iPad to keep your students engaged.

App to power this strategy:

Other alternatives for the iPad

Other tools to power this strategy:

Variations on the approach: You may create elegant course materials with interactive elements like mastery check quizzes with iBooks Author. Once created, you may upload these materials to D2L for your students to view.

#4: Hold Virtual Office Hours to Review Students Work

The basics: You may hold office hours via iPad. Virtual office hours can be conducted for your online, hybrid or face-to-face courses. SInce iPad is a portable device, you may hold these office hours anywhere and anytime. This way, wherever you are, you can connect with your students and review and discuss students’ work that they submitted.

Variations on the approach: Students can work in groups to complete an assignment and you and each group can meet online to discuss and monitor their progress. Students may use their iPads or computers to connect.

Apps to power this strategy:

#5: Collaborate with your Colleagues in Scholarly Activities to Brainstorm Together

The basics:  Faculty members often writes papers or work on projects together. Using your iPad, you may collaborate with other scholars in your field. You can integrate computers, iPads, and whiteboarding tools to facilitate your discussions.  

Apps to power this strategy

#6: Grade your students in your D2L Course

The basics: You may use  D2L for your online, hybrid or face-to-face courses. You may use your iPad to grade your D2L courses so that you can interact with your courses and your students whenever it is convenient.  This may help you provide your students with effective feedback in a timely manner.

Apps to power this strategy

#7: Teach Your Face-to-Face or hybrid Class in a Remote Location by Connecting your iPad with Telepresence

The basics: Faculty members often travel for various academic reasons. While you are away, you may still be able to teach your class remotely. See your students face to face with high definition video using your iPad while your students are located in one our Telepresence rooms and you are using your iPad.

Apps to power this strategy

#8: Prepare for Your Classes on the Go

The basics: iPads can be used as a portable educational repository for the classes you teach. You may also use cloud file hosting services to access your materials anywhere. You may view, read, watch, annotate, and create your course materials on your iPad to get ready for your classes.  

Apps to Power This Strategy

#9: Interact with your Online Students by Providing Them Audio and Video Feedbacks

The basics: Lack of interaction and direct student and teacher contact can be frustrating in online classes. Students may see the feedback you are providing  to be distant and detached. One way to overcome this is to provide students with audio or video comments. Use your iPads to give students audio and visual feedbacks that can viewed as more personal.

Apps to Power This Strategy

#10: Transform your Scholarly, Service and Administrative Activities

The basics: Faculty members are expected to have scholarly, service and administrative activities. These activities can be facilitated by using the iPad. Use your iPad to take notes, check and send emails, record voice memos and keep track of your daily activities by using the built in Calendar app on your iPad.

Apps to Power This Strategy

#11: Transform Your Teaching Activities

The basics: There are over 300,000 apps available to choose from in the App Store. These apps can be used to create interactive learning environments to enhance student learning. There are thousands of educational apps available for students and teachers in any educational level, from early childhood to higher education, covering everything from Science to Music.  As previously mentioned, We have another 10 strategies series document, Engaging Learners with iPad and Other Mobiles, describing some of the types of activities and strategies in integrating the iPad into teaching and learning activities.

Additionally, there are ‘Top Ten’ list all over the internet that detail specific Apps and their use in educational settings, here are a few:

Making it Happen

If you’re interested in trying one of the listed TeachingTactics, but aren’t quite sure how to get started or need some assistance, please contact Michael Manderfeld, michael.manderfeld@mnsu.edu or Marni Dunning marni.dunning@mnsu.edu to arrange for a consultation.

Contribute Your Own TechTactic

Do you have your own TeachingTactic suggestion? Let us know about it! Email your ideas to Michael Manderfeld, michael.manderfeld@mnsu.edu,  or Marni Dunning marni.dunning@mnsu.edu.



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