There are numerous ongoing projects aiming to introduce tablet computers (such as Apple's iPad) into classrooms, but most of these focus on materials and trechnology for learning and their effects on students. From the teacher's point of view, there are also benefits in using tablets, and in this short article, I will introduce some of ways I am using my iPad to help me better manage my classes. All of the applications listed can be found through iTunes or Apple's App Store.
For keeping track of students, I use Attendance. This helps me with tracking student attendance, and has useful grouping, reporting, and emailing functions. A similar application, Teacher Attaché, follows a more schedule-based format, and includes lesson planning and material collation functions. For those wanting visual seating plans, TeacherPal is another alternative. Lesson plans I put together in a Bento database. Good Notes and Live Notes might suit those wanting a more journal-type format. I keep grades and other data using a combination of Numbers and DropBox. There are numerous grading apps (such as GradeBook Pro) available, but few fit the Japanese university format.
As a blackboard alternative, I have Educreations, ShowMe, and Whiteboard installed. All have similar functions, and allow teachers to face their students while teaching. For presentations, I generally use Keynote, though Prezi Viewer and Popplet are interesting alternatives. For public speaking and lecturing, SpeechMaker works nicely as a teleprompter.
New applications are being released all the time, but few offer try-before-you-buy. Visit the app's website, read the reviews, or download the lite version if one is available.