Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Utilizing iPads to Enrich Learning Experiences

Hi all! I am in the process of writing a grant for one-to-one iPads for my school. I know that the grant is unlikely to be filled, but I am not giving up hope yet. The grant is due next week, so my mind is completely consumed on writing this report with as much detail as possible. Given my focus, I thought I would share ideas that I found particularly helpful with iPads in my classroom lately.

Back Channeling: I began using back channeling in the classroom when I started searching for ideas to make shared reading more interactive for all students. Rather than students waiting for you to call on them or prompt for a think-pair-share, students can pick up the device and comment. The comments project onto all the devices, including your Smart board if you choose to project the discussion. I have found that back channeling brings out a new found confidence in some of my more shy and reluctant students. I use Today’s Meet—It’s quick and easy! https://todaysmeet.com/

Formative Assessment: I can never have enough formative assessments throughout my instruction. Analyzing the formative assessments can take time each day and not always give you data as readily as you need it. I am using the website Socrative. On Socrative, you can create exit tickets, quizzes, short answer questions, or present formative assessments in the form of games called “space races.” I like that you can see the data live on your iPad when students complete the task. It is easy to know who needs formative feedback or if you want to make quick adjustments to your groups.

Parent Communication:
-Student Reporters: Students drive the parent communication when we have exciting experiences in our classroom. Students create 2-3 minute videos with updates that are easily sent home in regular emails. Apps that have been efficient and easy to share are iMovie, iMovie trailors, Tellagami, and Explain Everything.

-Conference Videos: When we did parent teacher conferences, the students used the video feature on the iPads to create a minute long video about their goals as their contribution to the conference.

Math Mini-Lessons: The video feature on the iPad has been a helpful way of bringing in real-world application problems and making math experiences come to life for students. When we practiced money, I went on a “shopping trip” to Target snips of my experience while posing problems for the students using items they loved such as Lego, Angry Birds, etc.  The level of engagement was extremely high when we solved these problems in class.

Student-to-Student Modeling: When I engage in reading/writing conferences with students, I will often to use the video feature to capture something I notice them doing well as a reader. When I show these videos to the class, it is powerful to see themselves and their classmates model the reading and writing strategies authentically.

Student Creation: I believe that the opportunities for student creation are what truly make the iPad an outstanding learning tool. When given the option, it is these learning activities that my students continue to do during indoor recess.

            -Explain Everything: an interactive whiteboard with video capability (My students love to use this app to model and explain math problems.)

            -iMovie: movie making tool (My students love to use this when making digital books, documenting science experiments, and creating social studies presentations.)

            -Creative Book Builder: Book-making app (Previously, we used My Story, but we have been having difficulties after the app updated. Creative Book Builder is more involved, but the students can create chapter books with a high level of detail.)

I get very excited when I learn of new resources to improve instruction for students. I hope you find some of these technology ideas helpful for your classroom! Thank you for stopping by our blog!

1 comment:

  1. I love Explain Everything! I would also recommend the website Padlet for use with iPads. Create your page, then get the kids to scan the QR codes with the iPads and they can all contribute (I also like when they take selfies to add to their comments!)

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