To continue on with my discussion of tablet computers in the educational environment started in my last blog post Authentic use of the iPads I would like to talk a little more about
how some of the teachers have begun to use these tools in the classroom. We have been very lucky this year to have 10 iPads available in the ES Library for teachers to check out and make use of to enhance the instructional activities that occur in their classrooms. The use of these iPads began with a few Grade 2 teachers checking them out and using them to have the kids create digital puppet shows about one of the current learner profiles. As time progresses, it seems that the iPads, which we have made available to teachers in the library have been gaining popularity. A few teachers in the 3rd Grade and a Chinese teacher have used them in connection with various learning activities. In these activities, the iPad was used in the most authentic way as a tool to help in the learning process and was not used just because of the “Tech” aspect of it.
In 3L, Mrs. Livingston’s class, the students were studying about glaciers. To make the
study more authentic, they actually made miniature glaciers using water sand and pebbles mixed together in milk cartons and then frozen. The students placed these glaciers on miniature mountains made out of sand. As the glaciers melted and moved, depositing the rocks and sand, the students made use of the iPads as cameras to take pictures of these changes and recorded information in a journal. Later, the students used Skitch to annotate the images with words, boxes and arrows. They then used these annotated images in a scientific report about the experiment.
In 3G, Ms. Greer’s class, the students deepened their understanding of angles they have been studying by using the iPads to take pictures of angles they found in the real world.
The children then used Skitch to annotate these images with arrows highlighting the angle and words telling the degree of the angle.
In Ms. Lei’s 5th Grade non-background Chinese class, the students used the iPads to create digital stories using Puppet Pals. These stories made use of the various sentence structures, grammar rules and vocabulary they had just been studying. The Puppet Pal app gave the student’s a chance to create a digital environment with characters and backgrounds they had complete control over. This digital environment allowed them to take the various language aspects they had been studying and apply them to a fictional, but life like conversation. Not only was this use of the iPads an authentic way for them to show what they have learned it also created more motivation and spurred better results.
In Grade 1, the students have begun using Sonic Pics to record “How To” videos from books they had already created. These videos served as an introduction to the apps they will be using in their next unit about plants. The Grade 1 teachers want to make use of the iPads in their room just as they would any other tool. When the kids are doing plant-growing experiments, they will use the camera on the iPad to record the growth of the plant. These images, combined with their written notes, will be used later on as a part of their summative assessment, an informative digital brochure about what they have learned about plants and their needs.
Below, I have included more examples of student work. I hope you enjoy looking at them.
Thanks for reading
Shannon Doak, ICT Facilitator