Noel Andia teaches 10th grade English at Lewisville High School’s Harmon campus and was awarded a grant from LEF last summer. With that award she was able to purchase a class set of Bluetooth QWERTY keyboards with additional editing keys, which allow for full formatting capability to make the student iPads issued by LISD more student-friendly in English class.
“We only have three laptops in each classroom for students’ use,” Andia said. “The bluetooth iPad keyboards would essentially turn any student’s iPad into a functioning desktop for typing and sharing documents for collaboration and paperless submission, while also giving students practice in computer application.”
Andia went on to explain that her students experience a high level of frustration while typing on the iPads. “Because of the sensitivity of the touchscreen, technological glitches are frequent and intrusive to their progress,” she explained. “Being able to type on a traditional, physical Qwerty keyboard allows my students’ ideas to flow from their thoughts to the document more effectively. This also allows them more practice in real world computer applications involving writing and collaboration.”
Students are using the keyboards to utilize their iPads for note taking through Cornell Notes online version, ClassMint, to create formal documents via Google Drive, and to engage in peer editing and collaboration on group projects.
The keyboards have provided the missing link to make English class and iPads a dynamic duo.
“I loved the idea of using an iPad until I tried to type on it – and then it became really frustrating!” Harmon student Samantha Newcombe said. “It could do everything except what I needed it to do in my English class. These keyboards let me really use the iPad the way it was intended – everything I do is on it now!
A classmate, Brandi Karonika, agreed. “My writing is neat and there are no erase marks and no typos. And it’s perfect that they are a class set – English is the main place I would use it so it’s nice that I don’t have to carry it all day. Thank you, LEF!”