Tuesday, 24 March 2015

1:1 iPads: So far, so good.

So it's been four weeks since thirty iPads arrived in my Year 4 classroom and our 1:1 iPad adventure began. It's be a great experience so far and one I'm looking forward to continuing over the coming weeks.

So what have we been up to since the last time I blogged? What things have gone wrong? What have we learned?

Social Media in the Classroom

First up, the ease of using social media in the classroom. Instant sharing of information with the class and the world.

We use Edmodo for this and it has gone from strength to strength since implementing the iPads. The children are sharing their learning, pictures and thoughts without asking and getting feedback from the whole class instantly.

I love the instantaneous workflow we're developing in the classroom and how it's impacting on their learning. The children don't need to wait for feedback from one person during peer assessment opportunities, they can get it from potentially thirty other people in their class - and they are!

We used our iPads to publicise out bake sale using our School Facebook account and Twitter account. The children were over the boon when the author of the book we're reading (Millions) Frank Cotterell Boyce retweeted our efforts. We've raised over £160 so far for Water Aid, with one week to go.

Blogging using Edmodo

I've tried blogging before with children for years and now it finally makes sense when they have their own device. The freedom to write when they want to has enabled the children to write their blogs on the go, whenever they have a spare minute.

I chose to use Edmodo as a start to blogging with my current class. It gives them an instant audience, something we all crave as bloggers - someone to actually read what you've written!

The children have started to write comments and feedback for each other and improve their blogs. I've asked them to write at least one a week to keep the interest up.

One interesting thing is watching the children typing on the iPads.  Most use their thumbs or single finger in portrait mode. Very few actually type like you traditionally would on a keyboard using the iPads landscape view.  Something to watch and think about? Touch typing lessons on the iPads? It's not as if they're slow at typing, far from it, but is it something to develop?

Cricket:  Finding my own next steps

During our cricket sessions we use our iPads to review our performances. I allow the children to film a modelled example of a shot I perform and then use it to compare to their own performances.

If they need to check a certain part of the shot, the children can then watch it back to see were they need to improve.  They also filmed each other and reviewed their shots during the lesson, each time referring back to the example I'd given them.

Here you can see one of the children have used Pic Collage to make a note of their next steps at the end of the week.  A great starting point for the next lesson - pick up from where they left off completely independently.  I really have seen the benefits of having 1:1 iPads for this as they have a record of their own performance. 

I plan to use it for assessment purposes to track progress throughout PE sessions. The children have also uploaded them to Edmodo to share with parents. 

iMovie: Creating Book Trailers

We've only started his project this week, so not really done a huge amount with it. The children will be creating their own book trailers based on Millions.

I'm hoping we will see the real power of the iPads here with children needing to combine film, audio, graphics and text to create one finished project.

I'll probably write a whole blog on this when the project is complete. I love the idea of book trailers being used with our online library system, Junior Librarian. 

Junior Linrarian has been a great addition, not only to school, but to our iPads as their app is superb. The children have direct access on their own devices to ebooks, our library and 1000s of suggested websites for research.

The children reflections:

Each week I am asking the children to blog about their experiences during the week. This is proving to be a masterstroke as it really is giving me an insight into their thinking.  The things I insist they write about are: What went well, what didn't and what next.  I do encourage them to post screenshots of things they have accomplished this week as it helps them remember projects they are working on.

These are a couple of examples of what they have written.

Both my books are on sale on Amazon Kindle, Google Books and Kobo for digital download. 

Amazon - Pause, Rewind My Teacher: A Flipped Approach to Learning

Amazon - Technology is a tool to be used not an outcome

The books detail all my work to date around flipped classrooms primary schools.  

I've also been invited to present at The Digital Education Show in London on Tuesday 30th June alongside some great names like Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra and many others - Find out more.

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