So, I’ve been thinking about iPads. As my regular readers, all 3 of them, know, I am now the proud teacher of a class with 1 iPad per student. This post is a little overdue, but with all the excitement and then all the holiday cooking and eating, I got behind on a number of things.
The first day I got them out them out of the closet, it was near the end of the day. The kids could barely contain themselves. Actually they really couldn’t. We got as far as using the DoodleBuddy app to make a home screen pictures with a number on it so the kids could recognize their iPad. I had a plan for a real lesson, but that was clearly not going to happen.
New plan: play with something, figure it out, and be ready to tell the rest of the class something about it next time. Much better plan.
Here’s what I saw:
- A bunch of students playing with a tangrams app.
- A bunch of students trying to play the Game of Ur app.
- Only 1 of them actually read the directions and had any idea what she was doing.
- Some students drawing with the chalkboard app.
- Everyone being excited.
Here’s what else I noticed:
- Students were asking each other questions about how to do things.
- Students were eager to share what they had discovered.
- The fact that I could only be at 1 place at a time was fine.
- There are going to have to be a lot of experts in the room, and not all of them are going to be named Ms. Eiteljorg.
Since then we have used the iPads for real stuff, not just play.
In our first week, here’s what we’ve worked on using the iPads:
- Used the chalkboard app to have everyone respond to questions in class (I know this is just an expensive white board without the smelly markers and paper towels)
- Searched for information for individual blog posts using sweetsearch
- Some students used ithoughts app to make an outline for their post
- 1 student found the myscratchwork app, started using it and discovered that it lets you see a web page and take notes at the same time by giving you a split screen
- Used twiducate’s mobile version to have both a face to face and virtual chat conversation simultaneously.
- Used smart weather to find the weather in a number of cities in Iraq (we are studying Mesopotamia)
- Written blog posts using pages
- Pasted posts into edublogs
- Bookmarked sites we’ll be using frequently (sweetsearch, twiducate, our class blog, edublog’s sign-in page)
- Copied a comment (students’s choice) from our blog, pasted it into pages, edited it to be an example of “best work” to be assessed and then posted on our blog again
- Investigated Iraq’s geography using google earth
Next up, what does it all mean? Are they just cool, or are they a real teaching and learning tool, in my opinion.
Is anyone else trying out a new device or strategy in his or her classroom?