iPads – the first week

With a week left until the christmas break, it was the perfect time to get the pupils in the class used to using the iPads, so instead of the usual Christmas activities, I decided to give the pupils time to explore the apps available.

First job, assign an iPad to each child – done.
Second job, tell them to have a play, choose an app and create something – done.

One thing I found out vey quickly was that I didn’t need to show the pupils how to use the iPads, they either knew already or found out in 5 minutes. They were also great at helping each other. Therefore the first task was to spend 10 minutes exploring, then to choose and app they wanted to use and create something.

They were fab, they created some great pieces of work, mostly about things we had learnt in school during the term. Some of the most popular apps were Book Creator, iMovie and Puppet Pals. At the end of the session, the children had to visit our class blog and post a comment on a post I had created, telling us which app they used and what they created. This worked surprisingly well and gave all the pupils a chance to contribute to the end of the lesson.

You can visit our class blog at: thedellyear4.wordpress.com

Lots of work the pupils create will be posted on our class blog so hopefully it will become a place to see iPads in action.

Third job, get the pupils to sync their iPads – done.
Fourth job, charge them up – done.
Fifth job, discuss acceptable use of iPads – done.

The rest of the week was spent exploring some more and talking together about thoughts, opinions, looking after them and preparing ourselves for the serious stuff after christmas. 2 pupils also took their iPads to the pantomime and produced a video of our school trip.

Some initial thoughts 

Before I finish this post, I wanted to add some personal thoughts on the use so far. The pupils in my class are 8 and 9 years old, for some of the pupils, the wow factor still exists and I need to get them beyond this  as quick as possible as this will hold them back, I want them to see the iPad as just another tool to use in the classroom not as this expensive piece of tech that they get to use, the more the children use them the more I will overcome this.

Some of the children see the iPads as something to play games on, when given the freedom to use the iPads the things they go straight for are the games, yes I understand why, but when questioned it seems they can’t think of ways to use them creatively, this I’m sure I can crack over time. It was fascinating seeing some of the pupils struggle with how to use them while others flourished and came up with creative, imaginative projects.

So on to the work, towards the end of the week, the pupils were becoming really proud of what they had created, this was great and I didn’t want to burst their bubble, but when I looked at/watched/read their work, the standard wasn’t that great. Basic grammatical errors were everywhere, some of them just reproduced items found on the Internet, the choice of presentation style was horrific. I don’t expect perfection, but I can see a set of skills that need to be covered instantly. I need to raise the bar a lot higher and find a way to give the pupils a reason to make their work better, maybe a spot n our blog, mention in assembly etc.

Ultimately the children need to realise that just because they can do it on the iPad doesn’t mean it’s best done on the iPad.

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