Monday, February 27, 2012

ipads anyone??? Day One!

I always have an excuse for not blogging more and I swear there are blog posts not quite finished still  to be posted.  The excuse this weekend was ipads.  I spent Saturday "programming", downloading apps onto our ten new ipads.  Eventually I figured out how to download them quickly but there was also the choosing.  One useful link was the following one and I tried out all the recommended apps.  I had borrowed ipads from our school board this summer so remembered ones that were there and ones I had found at that time.  One of my friends was a great source as she is going to be getting the school board's bank of 30 ipads in April at her school and had visited MacKenzie School that currently has this bank.

I am impressed with some of the features that the ipad 2's have compared to the ipad 1's I used in the summer.
Today I decided that a good place to start with them was in my classroom.  How can we use ten ipads?  In summer school I had an ipad station.  Students rotated through four stations and ipads were one. 

This time I decided today to divide the class into three.  The grade sevens were off to a special class so for half a period each half of the grade six class was able to try out the ipads while the others did math.  Later I gave the seventh graders 20 minutes as well (one was away in the morning).  It was interesting to see what they chose to do and I really think we have a great collection of apps.  I also was able to see which apps I forgot to download to an ipad or two.  They are giving me feedback about which apps they like using and which they think we should get the full versions that we have to pay for.  All the apps I currently have on are free.

At lunch we had a union meeting and watched the BCTF president on the projector via an ipad!

In the afternoon, I was doing a math period with the grade sevens while the grade six students were in the library doing a Social Studies lesson.  The grade seven students  were able to use the nifty calculator app pcalc,  and a neat app called infoCircle to do help them do their geometry problems. 

Last period was a work period and students were working on French projects and Social Studies projects. Students wanted to go to the computer lab but only six could go unsupervised and then I remembered, ipads.  It was really neat to see how they were able to engage and collaborate researching their projects using their ipads.

Just as I found in the summer, having the ipads in the classroom really motivated the students.  I am also excited about the new possibilities, for example, making short videos with videolicious.
This week I am going to look at different ways to use the ipads in the classroom that I can share with others.  One fun adventure will be using them with our grade one buddies.  

I look forward to seeing how we can use them throughout the school.   I am going to do a workshop with teachers but with so many of the kids used to using ipods they often surpass me.  So far it's very exciting to get them into the classroom.   Please note these ipods have not been funded not by the government but our Parents' Advisory Committee!

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