Apple's big education announcement may be January 19th in New York City, but that doesn't mean Apple is the only company innovating in the educational space. University of Michigan professor Perry Samson has developed an iPad app called LectureTools that Samson hopes can turn laptops and iPads from a way to distract bored students into an interactive learning tool that keeps them engaged.
The Chronicle of Higher Education explains:
For the app to be fully utilized, all of the students and the professor would need either an iPad or a laptop loaded with the software as they sit in the classroom. Then the instructor could use the iPad app to present slides that would show up on every student’s screen and allow any student in the room to annotate the slides or ask a question. For instance, students could highlight points on a map using their iPads, and the group of responses would be visible—anonymously—to the entire class. Mr. Samson said the app freed him from the podium.
The app tracks students classroom participation, something Samson says could be used to spot early warning signs in students who may be having difficulty with the material. 20 classes are using LectureTools at the University of Michigan, but it's also being used at Ohio State and Michigan State.