Saturday, August 21, 2010

Part 2 iPad + Family = Lessons for class use

In Part 1 I looked at how my family use the iPad, concentrating on how my children use it. In this post I am listing what lessons I have learnt from the family and thinking about how I can use this knowledge with an iPad in my class from September.

Learning and Reflection Opportunities
Although many of the talking books are not age appropriate for my 2 & 4 year olds. I can see a real place for these in my guided reading groups at school. The flexibility of having a story read to you with the words highlighted or reading it yourself and recording your narration is worth investigating with my class. Can pupils retell a story in their own words, can they improve it?

Both my kids love using Drawing Pad at home. We upload their pics to a family blog.

It is so easy to email these pictures. Using email to blog facilities I would like to try getting pupils to reflect on their learning in pictorial form. Pupils can take it in turns to reflect pictorially and post directly to our class blog, being approved by me first. I have no idea if this will work but it could be interesting.

If I have pupils with very poor phonic abilities I can see Pocket Phonics coming into play. This is a port from the iPhone and is very easy to use, encouraging pupils to say sounds and draw the letters.

I have tried the iPad with our VLE (Studywiz) and it is fine for accessing information but it is not really optimised for it. We have plenty of PCs for this so I think it unlikely we will use it for this. We also have a Google domain for staff and pupils but as google docs is read only I can't see we will use it for this either. In many ways the iPad is a different beast from other computers and I think it important not to try and squeeze it into old ICT practices. I want to play to its strengths, the beautiful touch screen, glorious multimedia presentation and amazing range of Apps.

Classroom Organisation
At home we have a sofa chair where the iPad lives. Our kids know that they can use it sitting/lying/lolling in the chair but it mustn't be carried about or used elsewhere. This is purely to preserve the glass screen and fingers crossed has been very successful. Although the beauty of a device like this is it's mobility, I will have to weigh this against possible breakage. I think to start with I will limit it's use to a just one table and rotate children to that table or investigate a cover/holder.

At home we have found that a full nights charge lasts for the whole day into the early evening, so charging it over night will probably be fine. I suspect it is also highly stealable so storing it securely at school or taking it home will be best. Fortunately as ICT manager I have my own lockable office.

IPad doesn't support multiple accounts, so setting up a class email address means we can take advantage of email sharing on the device. If I set up automatic forwarding on this account I can see if anyone tries to misuse it.

My iPad is wireless only, so by accessing the web through the school wireless and County proxy servers I ensure a safer Internet connection.

At home we keep all the kid's apps on their own pages. I will do the same at school additionally moving pupil apps to the front page and task bar so pupils see these first, making navigation even easier.

There are some things I would love to have shown to my class though plugging it into my data projector and interactive whiteboard but the vga connector is not fully functioning so this is not possible.

I have no idea what will survive from these ideas come the new term. That will be Part 3 and if nothing works I will be brutally honest.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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