In recent literacy lessons I have been exploring the potential of the iPad to motivate children to write for different purposes. One ongoing target in our school is the emphasis on boys’ writing, so the theme here is going to be how one app has been used to encourage boys to write with confidence, in an appropriate style, and with a strong level of knowledge.
Having collaborated with David Andrews on the controllable vehicle project, it struck me how confident and knowledgable the children were in terms of speaking about their work, and this clarity and depth had a direct and hugely positive impact on the children’s writing. I wanted to see if using a popular gaming app would be able to make an impact on the writing of the children I teach.
I have yet to find the perfect digital portfolio app that I think I would use exclusively in a visual arts class. Some apps can be used as graphic portfolios or as beautiful sketchbooks, others are great at sharing. Not all of the apps available are great at all of these things. I have spent a heap of time trying to find one and would be more than happy for someone to send me the name of ones they are using successfully. Having said that, the following are apps that I would consider using as eportfolios:
Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go.
Like many schools across the world, Shaw Wood Primary in Doncaster is discovering the benefits that mobile technology can bring to its curriculum.
Introducing mobile technologies at Shaw Wood was something of a venture into the unknown. As the school's IT Coordinator, I decided to use the eTwinning collaboration tool to work closely with Anne McMorrough and her primary class at St Martin de Porres National School in Dublin, which was also experimenting with mobile apps. Since September 2011, pupils at the two schools have exchanged reviews and advice about the apps that they have used, communicating via Skype, email and blog posts.
One app that has been used particularly frequently is the free augmented reality application Aurasma.
ArtiKix - Full: £20.99
An engaging articulation app with flashcard and matching activities for children with speech sound delays. The highly requested group scoring feature is available for collecting scores in flashcards on up to 4 children at a time. A group of students can now collect data as they practice sounds in words and sentences with a speech-language pathologist, their parents, or independently.
With a keen interest in ICT and maths, I have been exploring ways in which iPad apps (other than the “I can do maths…. 2+2” type) can enhance pupil progress and motivation. I believe that, when done the right way, gaming can play a huge role in learning.
If you are going to try any of these ideas in class, it's best to be quite familiar with the apps and how they work.
Here are 10 things I have tried:
Photo credit: http://www.angry-birds-game.info
Tablet computing and mobile devices promise to have a dramatic impact on education. A growing number of schools across the world are jumping on the digital bus and embracing iPads as the latest tool to teach literature in multimedia, history through games and simulations, and maths with step-by-step animation of problems.
In my school, we have been rotating one set of iPads this year and it gave me an opportunity to collect quite a few apps on a variety of subjects. Here's my favourites - all 107 of them:
The computer company, Apple, whom you may have heard of from such products as the iPhone, iPad and iPod, made an announcement in the Big Apple on the 19th of January 2012 that has started to create waves in the education system in the States – waves that will likely ripple across the pond to us in the UK.
What was the announcement?
Well, there were two main parts:
It's no doubt that smart phones and mobile devices have changed the way we work, rest and play. For millions of users, the i-revolution has changed the way we read our news, connect with friends and manage our banking. And now, it’s changed the way we deliver augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) . With a growing number of AAC applications (knows as ‘apps’) available via iTunes, not only does it mean a lighter load for therapists and AAC users (with the 9.7 inch touch screen iPad weighing a mere 1.5 pound), it delivers socially acceptable devices and the ultimate cool factor for clients.
Since the launch of the iPad in 2010, there has been much hype amongst speech and language therapists, families and clients alike with the possibilities for the iPad as an AAC device. The iPad and its apps offer an affordable and socially inclusive alternative to traditional designated devices which are often expensive. The accessibility benefits of the iPad begin with the built in feature of Voice Over which allows users to be given auditory information about what is on screen as it voices text on touch.
The education discussions, in the online space, are filled with efforts to find the appropriate role for technology in the classroom. No longer are desktop and laptop computers the main focus; it is the new "kids" on the block, such as the iPhone, iPod and iPad, that have moved the discussion ahead at warp speed. Mobile devices, no matter how excellent, are not an answer onto themselves -- they have to fit into the holistic concept of a teaching system. In response, teachers are literally grappling with these new platforms vis a vis teaching and their integration into the classroom.
Several times, parents have asked our company, Niles Technology Group, the following question, "When tested, why do the writing skills of students always seem to be the lowest scoring?" And each time, we reply with two questions of our own, "What made you ask? And, what does your school consider writing skills?" The parents' answer to the first question is invariably the same - either on the SAT or Standards of Learning tests, writing is consistently the lowest score reported by their school. Interestingly enough, the second question also receives an invariable response - "We do not know what you mean? Isn't writing, writing?"