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Flipping the iPad Enabled Classrom (Part 2 of 2)

by Kelly Walsh on October 13, 2013


Part 2 of our Look at the Intersection of Flipped Instruction and iPad Programs in our Schools

In response to growing interest and inquiries regarding flipping the iPad equipped classroom, I have begun considering the many ways in which the popular tablet’s unique capabilities and myriad applications can play a role in flipped teaching and learning. Last week, in Part 1 of this two part post, we considered the topics of Finding and Creating Digital Learning Content, Delivering & Consuming Learning Content, and Ensuring Content Consumption. This week we continue our exploration by delving into how to use class time, reinforcing learning, assessment, and lastly – tools for organization and productivity (an important consideration in all types of classrooms, not just the ‘flipped’ ones!).

flipping the ipad classroom

I am particularly interested in getting feedback from teachers who are using iPads, or using flipped teaching techniques, and hearing their thoughts on the ideas presented below. If you are working with either of these tools or techniques, please feel welcomed to comment and share your insights, observations, questions, etc. Other educators generally love to hear what their peers are doing and thinking when they are considering new directions and techniques, so thanks in advance for sharing.

Using Class Time

Freeing up class time for more hands-on, constructivist activities, and the review and reinforcement or learning, is a key goal of flipping the classroom. These activities do not have to involve technology, but when all students have iPads accessible, this opens up some great opportunities and possibilities.

It is common to begin class with a review of the previous night’s assigned work. iPad equipped schools may be leveraging apps like Evernote, iBooks, Subtext, or other tools that provide ample opportunity for students to engage in the content by taking digital notes, highlighting content, linking notes to content, clicking out to related materials, or using other methods that apps like these can enable for capturing thought and drawing connections while reading, listening, and/or watching digital learning materials. The start of class is a good opportunity to reference these notes, links, etc., as part of the review of the material.

Of course, if the digital content the students were required to consume is iPad based, being able to access it as needed during the start-of-class review is very useful!

When it comes to the reinforcement of learning through hands on activities, the iPad offers so many possibilities. Whether you are working in a science class, the arts, the humanities, or any other subject, there are probably apps that can be useful. Here’s a few examples.

  • Math: Working on math problems is an obvious way to reinforce math learning in the flipped classroom. There are many Math apps for the iPad. For the fun, free approach, here’s a selection of 5 free math games appropriate to the elementary grades. Of course, there are more options that just games. Some examples would be MathBoard and Math Drills.
  • English: The flipped English classroom provides an opportunity to read and review reading materials together. Alison Edwards write about using the app Subtext in her English classroom in this article. Subtext can help engage students while reading digital materials outside of the classroom or in it! Students in English call also access a wealth of research and other materials related to works of literature, poetry, and other writing, using the endless resources available via the Internet.
  • Foreign Language classes: One of the best things about flipping the foreign language classroom is that you can use class time to speak the language! As for apps that are helpful in the Foreign Language Classroom check out, “15+ Apps that can Facilitate the Vital Element of Immersion in Foreign Language Teaching” by Teacher Franca Gilbert.
  • Science: The iPad enables the creation of interactive labs for the science classroom. Not only can these types of labs prove engaging and more readily repeatable than some traditional labs, they can even save schools money (check out this article on virtual dissections from Punflay). (Teacher Kelly Hartzel will be sharing more examples of using iPad apps in the Science classroom at the Teaching and Learning with the iPad conference).


Assessment plays a role in all types of classrooms, but many proponents of the flip also appreciate formative assessment, as this fits well with the idea of more applied learning reinforcement approaches enabled by moving learning content out of the classroom. Some of the iPad apps available for assessment lend themselves to formative assessment, some are for summative assessment, and some offer a mix of both.

The number of iPad apps available for assessment is growing rapidly. In this article, Teacher Dave Rudely discusses his experience with Socrative. Another popular assessment tools is Nearpod. In the article, How The Nearpod iPad App Changed An Entire School, we learn how this app “… lets you be a fully engaged participant and interact with the presentation through polls, quizzes, videos, drawing interactivity, website-sharing, self-guided quizzes and more.” Education Galaxy offers apps that help students practice skills connected to the Common Core Standards. (Principal and iPad program leader David Mahaley will be discussing these apps and more in his breakout session at the Teaching and Learning with the iPad conference.)

Organization and Productivity

There is no shortage of apps to facilitate organization and productivity for teachers (of course, the need for organization is not specific the flipped classroom, so this more of a general topic than being flip-specific). Quite a few of the apps in this list of 15 Favorite iPad Apps As Selected By Teachers are for organization and productivity. Others include Penultimate, Agenda, Calendar, Reminders, ABCnotes, Get it Done, and Documents. For more, here’s an extensive list from the Sonoma County Office of Education.

Learning More

We’ll be exploring these tools and ideas further in a breakout session at next month’s Teaching and Learning with the iPad summit in North Carolina (Nov 15th and 16th). After the conference I’ll be expanding on these articles and sharing more of what I’ve learned while talking with the many educators who will be attending, and participating in the wonderful sessions being offered.



Kelly Walsh is Chief Information Officer at The College of Westchester, in White Plains, NY, where he also teaches. In 2009, Walsh founded He frequently delivers presentations and training on a variety of related topics at schools and conferences across the U.S. His eBook, the Flipped Classroom Workshop-in-a-Book is available here. Walsh became the Community Administrator for the Flipped Learning Network in June of 2016. In his "spare time" he also writes, records, and performs original music ... stop by and have a listen!

[Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, or those of other writers, and not those of my employer. - K. Walsh]

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela Petty October 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

Ask3 is a favorite. No emails. Class code. It is simple and has a clean interface. On line and off line component. Everything syncs once online again. Flip by student or teacher with video capabilities. Students love to compete in solving problems. Student comments are threaded. Great for collaboration. FREE!

K. Walsh October 14, 2013 at 10:04 am

Thanks for sharing Gabriela – your school’s Google Site looks like a great resource for iPad users, especially in Spanish speaking regions!

K. Walsh October 14, 2013 at 10:02 am

I forgot to mention Chronicle – a powerful new assessment tool I wrote about in this article:!

Gabriela October 13, 2013 at 2:18 pm

We use Ipads in classes since 2012.
In our school, each app becomes a pedagogical and creative resource.

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