Thursday, April 26, 2012

Consume, Collaborate, Produce 

I came across this poster online and it started me thinking about how I was using iPads this year. As a consumer, collaborator, or a producer.

 I would definitely say that my class falls in the last two categories to such an extent that I just removed all the apps that were math and word games.  We never even tried them out because we were too busy creating. Now I have fewer, more productive apps to upgrade etc.

This is a list of of my favourite things to do with iPads in class.

  • Use Google Earth for tracking characters and exploring settings of novel
  • Use Google Images to find relevant photos for our research
  • Use History Maps to study history and exploration timelines
  • Use You Tube to research

• Use Dropbox to share resources, writing and photographs for use in group projects, to work from home and school, and to collect finished work
• Use Pinterest to share finished projects, collect online project and research resources, create photo libraries and scrapbooks of artwork. Currently I have my own but I am in the process of seting up a class one. I think I will set up one with each student getting his own board. The other option is to use a group board. The students all have their own webpages and blogs so this may be  new way to organize them to share easily with each other. It would provide quick visual links to their pages and the work

 •  Use Book Creator to make ebooks from  research notes and online photos or to create a character diary or daily writing journal

• Use Blogger :
  to build digital portfolios of daily work
  to create character diaries
  to become an explorer and journal along the way

• Use Mobile Monet to turn photos into paintings.
• Use Garageband to create soundtracks and voice overs for poetry, slideshows.
• Use  My Stop Action to produce trailers and videos of novels for literature circles

Friday, April 13, 2012


I started my own Pinterest account. Now I can see that we need a class one too. How better to share our work all in one place, They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. And a link??

Follow Me on Pinterest I am going to set up a class Pinterest board with each student creating a "scrapbook" of their year's work. As each of their pins will link to their blogs, webpages and artwork. I think this will be amazing!!

All we need is a way to pin our ebooks and we will have all of our pins in one basket.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow

6 iPads,
all the time
What a treasure!

Currently I have 5 iPads plus mine for the class. 26 students, and a cart of Macbooks for a few hours every day.

A game changer.

I have always used technology with my students. I think the excitement and possibilities that technology brings to teaching was one of the  prime reasons I became a teacher. I love technology in the hands of children. They are fearless, eager and have imaginations that continue to astound me...even after more than 20 years.

I started using  computers in class with an Apple....before the Mac. I began teaching in Surrey with a part time assignment teaching French to a very unwilling group of intermediate students. We started with Hypercard stacks, Kidpix,  Slideshow and music. The kids quickly became enthralled with French when they needed it to create a mystery game with a house setting. They found that spelling counts when you are programming and there was reason to learn all that vocabulary - to make the game work. I bought reference manuals and the place took on a life of it's own.

Later Wikis became the empowering inspiration to get my class involved.  In 2007 I started my grade 4 class making Wikis. They researched and created reports on owls, legends and many First Nation topics. Again momentum grew, even with slow upload times, afternoon crashes, and many days that we had to shut down completely. They persevered, and thrived; and writing and editing took on new importance. The students pushed themselves to add more detail to their work and even edited from home. They still go online and check out their old work. That was 2007. They are in high school now.

On to iWeb, iMovie, and iPhoto. The class is still humming and some days  iWeb crashes, we  find out that we can no longer upload to publish, or all our photos load upside down online, my nerves actually start to crackle. But then, I look up to see a class of totally engaged, totally noisy children -  all doing amazing work, and I marvel at how far they have come. They have become mentors and team mates. They use Garageband,  iMovie, and iWeb and wheel the iPads as cameras, recorders, and book makers with confidence and authority.  They are eager to take on new challenges and the results are amazing!

Our Ipads are doorways to the world. We use them to capture and create. Having them available all the time means we can always capture the moment or "just add" or take screen shots to share exactly when we need to.

Through the years I have been told that elementary students were too young to use computers, not able to type well enough, do not need to save their work, do not need to use colour, only need 20 minutes a week..... Not in my experience.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?
A new generation of "swipers" are on the way.

I can only imagine.
I can hardly wait.