Friday, March 1, 2013

A Teacher's Tech Wishlist

Here is a short list of things that I wish I had in technology that either are not invented yet, not available to me due to price or IT restrictions, or that I simply do not know about yet. If some of these are available, please let me know where I can get them.

  1. An iPad/website testing app that will allow for the following:
    1. Students can not close the app or move to another screen during the test. (I would like exceptions to teacher-allowed apps or websites. I am thinking of a calculator, periodic table, or designated web address)
    2. Multiple questions can be linked to a single passage. Similar to the ACT or any standardized test, you give the students a passage to read, or graph to interpret, and then ask several questions about it. 
    3. The app links with my school's grading program so that the grades can automatically be placed into my gradebook. We have purchased Naiku, which is supposed to do this, but my district will not release our student data for their database due to confidentiality issues
  2. I would like google spreadsheets to be better on mobile devices. They have come a long way but need to be able to graph and do some data analysis like the slope of lines and such. I have recently gotten Appster for google docs and it looks to help with this, but it has been buggy for me. 
  3. A free online textbook for my classes. With the Internet, information is free! Why am I paying so much money for your take on Kepler's Laws? Be careful textbook companies, if this is not done soon, I am going to write my own!!
  4. It would be really nice if java worked on apple products. So many animations in the sciences are made as java applets. With the iPad, we are starting from scratch. 
  5. A student monitoring program would be great for the iPad. With the desktops in my room, I could run a program called Vision that would show me all the desktops in my room in real time. I was able to take over a student's desktop remotely. Can we get something like this for our 1:1 mobile devices? It may cut down on the games being played in class that are eating up our bandwidth. 
I am sure there are more but on a Friday morning, this is all I can come up with. If I think of something else that I would like, I will post it in the comments. If you read this and can help me or have something on your wishlist, please post a comment.