iPad In The Drama Classroom?


Yesterday I went to an interesting professional learning seminar at the head office of Apple Inc, Melbourne. As my workplace has recently changed from being a Windows school to a Mac school in the past couple of years, I was eager to hear advice and case studies on how Macs are being used in the classroom with teachers and students.

I listened to how iPods and iPhones are being used in schools for projects, how Macbooks and various Apple applications are integrated into teaching programs for a wide variety of learning tasks in everything from Maths to Art, how iTunes U has added academic depth to video and audio resources for teachers and students and there was lots of talk about the growing number of schools in Australia going 1:1 (1 laptop per student).

But after I left the seminar it hit me.

With every Apple education officer in the room proudly displaying their new iPads, no one ever mentioned how new these devices are being used in classroom settings, if at all?

Has anyone got any stories they’d like to share about how they have used the iPad in the classroom with students? Better still, has anyone used an iPad in a drama/theatre classroom with students?

24 Responses

  1. Rita says:

    Hi Justin,

    I used iPads in my drama class (primary) in many different ways; as mentioned above for sound effects, green screen, videos, etc However the most exciting way to use it was when I taught Shakespeare, We strted our unit with a “field trip” to the Globe Theatre where the students experience a Virtual Reality tour to the theatre and learn many new things.

    You should check it out at https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/discovery-space/globe-360

  2. Deni Kington says:

    Hello everyone! All of my students have ipads. Has anyone been successful running rehearsals using scripts on the ipads rather than hard copies? Would treasure success and failures because I am being pressured to go this direction. They seem bulky and cumbersome and when I tried last year the script kept flipping directions.

  3. Matthew Whaley says:


    I have just started to use the iPad app ‘formative feedback for learning’ with my HSC kids.
    We record the assessments on the iPad and then the app allows you to annotate by drawing lines etc over the image.
    It has really helped in giving practical realistic feedback on things that the kids are doing in the scene and ideas for possible changes or adjustments + with a screen capture of the process(? Haven’t done this yet) the kids could take away the feedback session to review for the writing of prac in log books maybe.

    Hope this helps



  4. Lyndy says:

    Hi Justin and co, have started using I.pads in yr 7 drama as , like many of you, an adjunct to the action, sound effects, background visuals for mime impro and virtual props..the kids embrace them and are far more clever than me…ticks all the schools criteria boxes

    • Tom Falkai says:

      Am interested in the background Cyc images. Are the iPads linked to a data projector and power mixer for sound? If so what connecting cables did you use or was it wireless?

  5. Michael says:

    I use the iPad for a number of things in the drama classroom. It is useful fr my ledger students to make quick recordings and watch them back via the Apple TV for peer feedback etc.

    I have also found the Dramatic Music app useful to get attention for younger students, relation sounds to actions and instructions etc. it’s only 69p!

    Having he wireless and handheld facility for websites like Prezi allow me to be freed up to make more accurate assessment of the students development, rather than being tied to a desktop or bulky laptop.

    It can tricky to use this equipment in a practical space like a drama studio,,as so much of the work relies on group communication and practical application of skills, rather than individual focus on set tasks on a tablet screen. It is certainly more useful for a Teacher than a student, have found.


  6. Joya says:

    We are using flattening our classroom approach in drama, using video calling and invite guests in to support the drama process.

    We have used mantle of the expert through a face time chat.


  7. Acting Classes Perth says:

    Although actors can make acting look easy, it takes training to deliver exceptional performances. Even those actors who claim that they are naturals, have received extensive on the job training.

  8. mark weil says:

    I wrote an app for my wife, who teaches drama. It can be found here:


    I hope you like it. Any comments or suggestions for improving it would be welcome.

  9. Mohamed El-Ashiry says:

    We have an iPad program at our school and I am running that along with teaching Drama!
    I use the iPad extensively, students blog on it at the end of every class as part of their reflections. Students are always taking photos or videoshoots of their rehearsals and preparation and either upload them on blog or YouTube on their private channels. Students also use mind mapping and brainstorming apps for brainstorms and then add screenshots to their blog…. I also use podcasting apps in Radio Theatre units of work, as well as puppet pals the app for characterization in voice etc…
    There’s so much you can do with the iPad as well, I use ShowMe to explain tasks and rubrics to students as it is often hard to grab their attention for that long if I’m the speaker… I use gradepad the app for my formative assessments as well where you can create your own criteria! It’s amazing, e-mail me on [email protected] if you need more ideas!

    • Matthew Tupper says:

      Agreed. As a formative assessment tool in the drama classroom the Ipad is a great solution. Students record their performance in class and are asked to post them privately, inviting classmates to view and comment on their work. These artifacts created by the students greatly help in writing comments later and tracking their longitudinal growth over the year. Because the students manage the files it is so much less work for the teacher (really making it feasible) to review performances. Students also share scripts in their playwriting class. This makes live readings easy and able to happen without the planning of who has printed enough copies. Story boarding, Tableaux work, …. It goes on and on!

  10. Candice Oz says:

    Actually if you look up improv stuff you find tons of improv starters 🙂 including a spinner that gives random ideas.

  11. Sim says:

    Google Patti Kennedy from Canberra Grammar. She is a guru for drama apps & uses iPads in the drama classroom. She’s full of knowledge, all drama teachers should be accessing her blog and nines to see the successes.

  12. Michael (micoke) says:

    Very excited…. picking up an iPad today (for myself)!! Will let you know how it goes in class.

  13. Robin says:

    I just began using a game called Reverse Charades with my beginning drama students. Students must cooperate in a group and act out the word for one team member. They not not allowed, however, to speak to each other. They must try to read each other’s minds. Very fun and very good exercise.

  14. Justin Cash says:

    Yep, you’re right Greg … not many drama/theatre iPad apps out there at the moment. Both your websites are great! I will enjoy reading them from now on. Thanks for your iPad app lists in KLAs.

  15. Justin Cash says:

    Hi Kim!

    Greetings from the eastern seaboard.

    I will be most interested in your findings with your colleagues as you delve into 100 days with an iPad. Sounds fascinating! I must check out David Farmer’s app you refer to. 1:1 iPad programs in schools seems an inevitability, but it is those early pioneers that deserve the credit for taking the risks (if there are any) and paving the way for others in the future. I agree with you about ownership of the device when used by students in education. As with laptops in schools, ownership with iPads will be a critical factor with their level of success in educational institutions. And yet on a personal level, the jury is out for me on the iPad. I just don’t see the gap in the market Apple have seen with the iPad, lying somewhere between a smart phone and a laptop. Nevertheless, I would still love to hear people’s iPad stories like yours, particularly with their use in drama education.


  16. Hi Justin,

    Long time no see! We have some iPads in the Centre for eLearning here at Curtin. I’m teaching a Movement and Drama class in Primary and Early Childhood Education and have taken my iPad with me to the first class. I haven’t yet used it much in a collaborative sense with students but it was incredibly useful to me as teacher to have ready access to a range of tools and resources I needed throughout the lesson.

    My colleagues and I have begun 100 Days with an iPad where we are documenting some of our discoveries.

    I’ve already discovered Dramativity – David Farmer’s app for the iPhone/iPod Touch – that still works on the iPad…

    Not a lot to report yet – it is early days… but looks promising… personal ownership of these devices seems a critical aspect. Several schools around Perth have opted for the devices for their students starting 2011 – 1-1 iPad programs. I know some are starting at Grade 4 in primary school.

    Kim Flintoff
    BA, Grad Dip Ed, MEd
    Lecturer, Instructional Design | Centre for eLearning | DVC Education
    Lecturer, Movement and Drama | School of Education | Faculty of Humanities
    Virtual Worlds Advisor | School of Nursing and Midwifery | Faculty of Health Sciences

  17. Andy says:

    I know that Ennesbury College is going to add the ipad to their required booklist for 2011. The Drama department is investigating many ipad applications that can be used in the classroom.

    Pultney Grammar, also in Adelaide, are another school adding the ipad to the booklist.

    • Tom Falkai says:

      I haven’t found any particular apps for iPads yet, but I’m still searching. iPads are great for students to record rehearsals to assist in learning lines and play structure. The speed at which iPads access the internet has resulted in discovering useful sites such as film scripts. At Unley High School, we use Mrs Doubtfire to study characterisation and then we found scripts of the movie. It’s extended the students’ enjoyment of this study.

      Has anyone found any worthwhile apps?

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