More iPads in the classroom

Forgive me, I don’t have an iPad at home, and so I can’t remember the names of the apps…feel free to help me out!

We’ve finally got our set of 10 iPads for use in school. Not having on myself, I’m still at a bit of a loss as to how these will help me teach, but we’ve been trialling them in circle time over the past few weeks.

The very first time I brought them into the room, I just gave one per pupil and made sure they were turned on. I wanted to see how much my learners could mange for themselves, how guided they needed to be. First, they found the camera. One young man spent a long time talking to himself on the video. Then, they found the app that lets you change the photos, we’re all now rather morphed. One found the calendar and spent ages looking at the dates! We don’t have wifi in school, so we can’t get on line. This is perhaps a good thing, as we’d have been buying things all over the place!

After some time looking at the camera, I suggested there were other things that we could look at, and what else might we find. The drawing app was well recieved, as was the milking the cow one (personally, not a favourite, but encouraging use of two hands helps with our fine motor skills and makes the OT happy!). There’s one called ‘falling stars’ where you draw a line, a star bounces off and it  makes a noise. Again, good for the motor skills and thinking about where to put the line. We’ve lost hours fascinated by ‘goo’ and the fish one. Oh, and don’t mention the drum/xylophone one!

Then there are the more educational apps that have been put on. Matching ones, sentence structure, letter drawing, counting. They are mostly aimed at young children, and my class access these with ease. Only downside of the sentence structure one is that it is not possible to put a wrong answer in place, so even my pupils who can’t read were getting full marks! I think we need to look for apps aimed at KS1 for my class, and to see how they go.

I noticed that some of them could sustain concentration for a long time, much longer than doing traditional activities, but others were flitting between things, not even spending two minutes before trying something else, and often going around in circles.

Colleagues have used them for recording the class, giving feedback (AFL in practice), taking photos to record events and as a reward. I’m going to keep using them once a week in circle time, at least to start with, but we’re going to be more structured in what we are doing and how we do it.

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