Monday, November 19, 2012

Montlieu iPad Project Review


At Montlieu Elementary School, I worked with a fourth grade student. It seemed as if she really had a grasp of working with the iPad and did not seem to have too much trouble figuring it out. Sometimes she had a question about how to do something, but it was more of a review for her. The first two projects we had to do seemed as though they were a little boring for her. I felt as if she was just going through the motions and that projects had no real value or meaning to her. I liked how the two projects were set up so that when we started, it was a way to learn what she needed in terms of working on the iPad.

She was quite experienced when it came to working with Comic Life. She showed me some of the comic books she used in her classroom. When we worked on the comic, she just went through the motions of doing the assignment. The same thing continued when working on the Keynote project. We went through this project quickly because she understood how to use the program, as it was very similar to the information used in the comic we made.

After these projects were completed, I was able to choose my own projects to work on with her. The first one was to create a name poem in Keynote. A name poem is where you come up with an adjective that describes you for every letter of your name. My iPad buddy had a blast with this project. She came up with many good adjectives and even helped me work with my name. This project was, not only educational, but the most fun of all during my time at Montlieu. We later did a similar project, coming up with a word poem for the season of fall and adjectives that describe the fall season.

Since my iPad buddy knew how to use the iPad and many of the programs, it was a bit difficult to come up with projects that would be new to her. In class, we had used the movie-making site, Animoto. I thought it would be fun to create one or two of these videos because I was fairly certain she had not used the program before. The first video we decided to make was about fall. Since it was close to Halloween, we included it in our fall video, as well as Thanksgiving. She had a lot of fun making this video. I think this was a great project for her because it allowed her to work with an app that she had no experience in using. She enjoyed it so much that when we finished with the fall video, we decided to make one about Christmas. I think Animoto is a great tool, for both students and teachers, to use in the classroom because it is a creative way to learn.
video

video

During my time at Montlieu, whenever we finished a little early, I would have her show me some of the apps on her iPad that she liked the best. I would have her explain what they were about and how she used them in the classroom. She did well in explaining them to me. One of the last things we did together was the Mad Libs app. I thought she would enjoy it because she seemed to have fun coming up with adjectives when we created the word poems. At the end of Mad Libs, the parts of speech make a funny story. At first, she did not fully understand the purpose of putting in random words. When we got to the end, I read her the story she had created, and she thought it was a lot of fun. Then she wanted to keep working on other stories. I choose this app for her because it was our last day, and it was fun and educational.

It is hard to say what would have made this experience better, because the time I spent working with my student went smoothly. One thing that might have helped is to have had a discussion in class regarding ideas to use when we finished the assigned things to work on. Although I always thought of something to do, having a list of back-up ideas would be helpful. Overall, I would not change a thing in the time spent working with my buddy. It was a great learning experience for both of us and very enjoyable. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ipads in the Classroom and Second Grade

With technology on the rise, there comes new and exciting ways to experience the world. Education is now being changed by the revolution of many new pieces of technology. SmartBoards are entering the classroom, giving students a whole new experience in their learning; but the newest edition to the classroom is the iPad. This small device, that is no bigger than a sheet of paper, is changing the way we teach and the way students are learning.

"iPad Wordle"
Apple has created a magical device that they say is “the device that changed everything and is now changing the classroom” ("Apple in Education" 2012). Teachers are begging and hoping that their schools can have these extraordinary devices. As a student, and an elementary education major, I can see why they would want these futuristic devices.

Many people are asking what the positives are to having this device in the classroom, how students can use them to learn, and how teachers can teach with it. There are many answers to these three questions. Some of the positives for iPads in education include the following:


  •        Fast and Simple to Operate – Once the iPad is turned on, there is no waiting around for it to boot-up. With the slide of a finger, it is ready to go. Everything is right there at your finger tips. This is a big plus because you get right into the subject matter and the students do not get restless waiting around for a machine to respond. It is simple to operate in that students really do not need a whole lot of directions when it comes to getting where they need to go. They just touch the screen with their finger and the app opens immediately. This is great for restless second graders who want to get going, instead of waiting around for the computer to boot-up. For second graders, it is also great because they start working with minimal instruction on how to operate the device.
  •          Easy to View Content – With the iPad being roughly the size of a sheet of paper, it is easy to see the images on the screen and since it is not a bulky computer, you can position the device anyway you want. With a simple pinch or spreading of your fingers the images on the screen zoom-in or zoom-out to make it even easier to view the content. For students with disabilities, this is a great feature, because they can easily hold, see, and touch the device.

  •        Able to Multi-task – Many teachers love the idea of podcasting and, with the built in microphone, you can easily create your own podcast right on the device. After creating the podcast, the teacher can set it up in iTunes so the students can easily access it. Students can listen to music or the podcast while running an app. For example, a student taking a test can view the test in Pages, or a similar app, then listen to a podcast of the test and type in the answers to the questions.
 In second grade, the students were able to use the podcasting program to create and animal podcast as they learn about different characteristics of mammals, reptiles, and birds. The students had to include the characteristics of the animal by taking on the role of the animal their group chose to create a podcast on, and then they had to complete this task by including science vocabulary and descriptive wording. With this project the students will be able to work on many literary skills as well as the science ones.
  •        Able to use as an eReader  -- There are many apps connected to reading books, such as iBooks, iTunesU, Nook, and Kindle, thus making textbooks available to students. It is easier to carry around a small, light iPad instead of several heavy textbooks. This would make going to school every day much easier and without possible back injury. The iPad makes reading text simple and easy. Students can create books and have them stored in the library of either iBooks or iTunes U for easy access throughout the year. Below is a short explanation of how a second grade class was able to create a book of their own on their iPads.

  •       Long-lasting Battery – The iPad has a battery life of up to ten hours, which is awesome. It can last an entire school day without having to be recharged every few hours.
  •         An App for all your Needs – An app for all your needs is understating it a bit, but there are about ten apps for each single need. There are apps for almost everything! It is amazing to see what new apps have been created. The apps give this device its special powers, which make the iPad so magical. If there is no app to meet your needs, you could either create one, have one created, or possibly just wait a little bit and it will become available. There are also hundreds of educational apps available to help enrich the learning process.



"Stick Pick App"
If you are not already convinced that an iPad is the future of education, maybe telling you how it can help teachers will change your mind. As a teacher, you can use pages to create quizzes, tests, and worksheets, and you can use keynote to create and give presentations. There are many apps that help teachers keep up with attendance and grades. There is also a really cool app called Stick Pick, which helps teachers randomly pick students in the class, and measure how well they are doing. There are endless possibilities for teachers to use this extraordinary device to teach.

2nd Grader Using Book App
In researching, a second grade class used the iPad to create a book about a day in the life of a second grader. When the students were done creating the book on the iPad the teacher had the book published. This is a neat and interesting example of how the iPad could be used in a classroom. An actual project such as this, could be made in any of the grade levels. There are many other exciting things to do on the iPad for second grade, as well as the others.

The iPad is a magical device that is helping shape the classroom into a new type of learning environment. There are many, many positives that the iPad has for use in education, and teachers love what this little machine can do for them and their students.

References 
Wired Educator. (2010). An iPad in Every Classroom: Teacher Tested, Student Approved!. Retrieved: Sept. 5, 2012.
Apple. (2012). Apple in Education. Retrieved: Sept. 5, 2012.
[Untitled Photograph of a 2nd Grader using book app]. (2012). Retrieved: Sept. 5, 2012.
[Untitled Photograph of an iPad Wordle]. Retrieved: Sept. 5, 2012.
[Untitled Photograph of Stick Pick App]. Retrieved: Sept. 5, 2012.