ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As educational institutions from kindergarten through college increasingly explore iPad initiatives, app developers and educators say LectureTools' latest foray could be transformative in the classroom as well as a flipped classroom tool.
The product, created by a University of Michigan startup of the same name, spun out of research by Perry Samson, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences who has won awards for his teaching practice.
The application offers an alternative to clickers that harnesses the potential of the iPad, turning it into one of the most active in-class learning and communication tools, with cloud based storage. Anything added to the app is instantly available online through students' LectureTools web accounts. This is important in situations where students only have access to iPads in the classroom, but not in the events for homework.
The app was piloted in David Montalvo's classrooms in the Bay Shore School District in New York.
"LectureTools streamlines the instruction and content delivery, giving students electronic access to all teacher created class materials, in addition to their own notes. The integration with an iPad app will certainly make 1-to-1 technology more accessible, with the ability to poll and assess students in real-time during the class," said Gary L. Lamm, Bay Shore technology administrator.
The app comes with all the bells and whistles students are used to seeing in the LectureTools web application. But now, a sleeker design optimized for iPad enables students to use the tool during class and offline for remote studying.
"LectureTools' focus is to provide instructors and students with more opportunities for active learning during and after class," said Jason Aubrey, co-founder at LectureTools. "LectureTools is the first end to end learning platform in the app store and we look forward to seeing how education uses our application. We think that many are missing the opportunity to use iPads in a more direct, engaging way, and we are confidant LectureTools will provide better ways to use iPads with students."
Through LectureTools, instructors can present students with interactive activities, including multiple-choice, free response and image-based questions, and students can respond using their mobile device, now including iPads. Students can also relay comprehension concerns about particular slides to the instructor, or submit specific questions that instructors or teaching assistants can view and answer as they arise. Answered questions become anonymously visible to every student in the class and they are saved so they can be reviewed later.
"Research shows that use of laptops or cell phones in class can increase student engagement, despite their potential for distraction, when web applications that encourage student participation are employed. Now that iPads have become more popular with learners, we've expanded our technology to take full advantage of these devices," Samson said. "If you give students a chance to participate, they will."
Students can type notes, flip through instructor's lecture slides and quickly access the slides they found confusing or important for later review. Together, these features create a comprehensive learning environment and a central location for students to access all of their study materials so that they stay organized and engaged.
The solution provided by LectureTools enables schools and instructors to engage students in new ways and take full advantage of their iPad initiatives.
The student app is available at
To learn more about the LectureTools' iPad app visit
Watch the iPad video here
The Ann Arbor, Michigan based company began as a University of Michigan research project and is supported with funding from the National Science Foundation. Account sign-up and more information is available at http://www.lecturetools.com/.