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The iPad in Theatre

Page history last edited by Judd Farner 7 years, 12 months ago

 The new iPad

By Apple Inc.


Listed by Time magazine in 2010 as one of the 50 best inventions of the year, the iPad, and its subsequent versions the iPad 2 and the new iPad, is a tablet device capable of thousands of educationally applicable tasks. The iPad is a touch screen tool that uses the Apple designed iOS operating system. It is highly interactive and intuitive. Students who use the iPad have access to Apple's App Store, which has thousands of "apps" (installable software). The iPad's user-friendliness, along with Apple's continued effort to innovate, makes the iPad a highly useful classroom tool.


Built-In Apps 

-Camera, Photos and Videos

     -5 mega-pixel, 1080p HD camera

     -Synced together through Apple's Photo Stream

     -Use Apple's Video Mirroring to share content in front of an entire class

     -Classroom Uses: Take photos or videos of student performances and sync to specific, password-protected Photo Streams, replay past performances for reference, student's could take "inspiration" photos for design work, video capture for editing, personal viewing of class movie clips (accommodation).


     -Apple's internet browser, Safari is a high-powered, high-speed browser

     -"Reader" option removes all clutter to show only the article 

     -Classroom Uses: Teacher's can save specific pages in the Safari Reading List and students can read offline, web browsing, "Reader" could be considered an accommodation for students


     -Video Calling on Wi-fi or 3G/4G Networks

     -Switches between two cameras for multiple views

     -Classroom Uses: Experimental theatre techniques, "PenPal" opportunities with other schools, Live chats with field professionals as a cheap/free substitute to in-class guest speakers


     -Access to e-copies of thousands of books

     -Use reading tools to highlight, underline, or annotate text

     -VoiceOver allows the iPad to read to you

     -Can insert pre-made textbooks onto the iPad

     -Adjust size, font, brightness, color scheme

     -Classroom Uses: VoiceOver used as an accommodation, teacher created textbooks can be loaded onto iPads, personalization of text environment can assist in creating the most comfortable learning environment, a class set of iPad could save thousands in replacing damaged or worn books long-term


     -Access to an entire library of music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, iBooks, apps, and more

     -Classroom Uses: Quickly download and present pop media


     -World Clock




     -Classroom Uses: Time performances, assign world times to groups, structure group work by timing work time

For more information see,




Educational Apps

-iTunes U

     -Create Custom Courses 

          -Can include syllabus, videos, lectures, assignments, etc.

     -Students can subscribe to specific courses, then when updates are ready, they receive Push Notifications

-Keynote Remote

     -Control slideshow presentations from anywhere in the room

     -Connect through any wireless network and a password

     -Store notes for specific slides

-Oxford American Dictionary

     -Lighten backpacks and shelf space with this 150,000 word reference tool

For more information see,



Theatre Education Apps

-Shakespeare in Bits: Romeo and Juliet

     -Provides animated illustrations as the story progresses

     -In-line, modern day explanations

-The Amazing Improv Generator

     -Automatically generate improv topics with the push of a button

-Scene Partner

     -Uses text-to-speech technology for actors to rehearse on their own

     -One script purchase allows use on up to 4 devices

     -Highlights individual lines

     -Edit and mark up script

For more information see,





Apple is dedicated to providing products that are easy to use and appropriate for all. This means, for teachers, another tool and resource to assist all students in the classroom.

-VoiceOver Screen Reader

     -Reads anything on the page out loud

-Support for playback of content with closed-captioning

     -Buy or rent videos with subtitles from iTunes

-Option to invert colors

     -For higher contrast needs

-Wireless Braille Displays

For more information see,




This video is an overview of The new iPad from Apple.


This video overviews reasons why not to use the iPad. The producer of this video posits an interesting argument against the use of iPads in education. It is important to suss out both sides of the conversation and he provides one set of views. His most compelling argument is the idea that students should become producers and not just consumers. In this sense, he places students as not producing content, but rather just processing already formed content. This is the first in his series.


This video is a case study from a school in Buckinghamshire. 


This video is from a teacher in Colorado and includes a discussion about Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. How to use the iPad for assessment?


This examines a product of a 1st grade class projects which introduces students to "reader's theatre".


Links to Resources

-As with any "Top 10" list, it's mostly subjective. There are a few notable mentions though; The TED app, Evernote, and iTunes U (see description in Educational Apps).


-This link is a short blog post in praise of the iPad's capabilities. It comes from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. 


-This is a posting and subsequent conversation about uses of the iPad in drama classrooms by drama teachers. 


-This link acknowledges the struggle teachers face in finding time to research and apply specific apps into their classroom. It is also another "Top 10" list of useful classroom apps.

-Found in controlbooth.com, an online forum for high school and collegiate theatre practitioners, this is a useful list, sorted by specific job responsibilities, that highlights some practical theatre apps.



 The new iPad is a perfect example of the importance of researching and logically applying technology to the classroom. It has thousands of uses, but if the teacher does not properly understand and incorporate, it becomes a hassle. The best used technology is one that does not get in the way of living. It should be invisible and augment the student's reality.



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