Saturday, March 3, 2012

More fun with ipads...

Every week in my classroom is honestly kind of amazing.  Each day has its ups and downs.  I sometimes feel as if I live a year in a day!  But all in all they are amazing.  I sound absolutely sickening at times I know, but I truly love teaching and learning.  As you know I am having trouble with the concept of retiring even though I know that there are other interesting things out there I can do.  Please note my enjoyment of teaching is not currently enhanced by our government's proposed legislation or its refusal to value and appropriately fund education!

 Yesterday I decided to let them try out Videolicious on the ipads.  I divided the class into three and each period one group had the ipads.  With a partner each student was able to go around the school and make a video.  Now I can assure you that there weren't any academy award presentations but they certainly had a great time and we had lots of laughs watching them.  Later two of the girls showed one of our teachers how to videotape her student teacher teaching!

I have to say I am kind of now hooked on ipads as an educational tool.  The sheer portability of them is amazing and that you can shoot videos with them is wild.  One minute we are using the calculators to do their math, then play a game, where through fish eating numbers (Motion Math, Hungry Fish) you get a great idea of positive and negative numbers. You can read a book, play the piano, research for your Ancient Greek project and write up your notes.  You can present projects to others easily and it's really great for working collaboratively.  Thanks to sites mainly recommended on Twitter I have some amazing applications.

My latest favorite is The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore, based on the academy winning animated film, this interactive book is amazing.  Last period Thursday we had half the reading buddies using the ipads with half the class, while the other half did their usually reading.  Friday last period we switched.  Needless to say they had a great time.

I feel we have come a long way in a short week (well more accurately perhaps I know lots more about ipads than I did before and often the kids are giving me pointers.  Many of them have ipods and the system is basically the same.)  It's going to be hard when we have to share them with the rest of the school.  Currently I am the only classroom that is wireless but eventually we will have a wireless router that can go room to room apparently.

At one point yesterday I looked at one of the girls and asked, "Is this the craziest class you have ever been in?" and with a smile she said,"Yes!" as two of the boys piped up and said it was the best ever, that it was awesome.  I think we have engagement!

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