iPads in the Classroom

iPads in the Classroom

Posted on February 8, 2012. Filed under: iPads in the Classroom |

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Over the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to observe several lessons with iPads. The lessons were conducted in general education classes with 4th and 5th grade students. The teachers did not have any formal training with iPads, they simply created lessons after playing with the iPad and testing out several apps. The students came to the lesson with various experiences with iPads, most students had never used and iPad and several students had their own iPads. The class had 10 iPads which were shared among the 20 students.

Both teachers planned these lessons as a culminating activity for a unit study. The teachers began the unit by providing informational websites in a Diigo account. The teachers gave the students specific questions to answer and the students used the app Notes to keep a record of what they had learned. The teachers had the students save several photos from Flickr and Google images. These were saved to the iPad. Last,  they used the app Storyrobe to create their presentations. The students had to order their pictures and record the narration Once this was completed the teacher set up a small document camera in order for the students to share their presentations with the class. The final projects were terrific and the students had a great time creating presentations.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Start with a how to use the iPad introduction for all students. Those who know how to use the iPad can help those who have never used an iPad.

2. Use the iPad to differentiate the curriculum for your students. Some students had the knowledge and skill to add to the presentation, one student wanted to add a video to their presentation.

3. While I like the idea that the teacher provided safe websites for students to collect the information for their presentation, I think we as educators need to teach our students how to evaluate information on the internet and to look for websites that provide accurate information.

The lessons I observed were among the first lessons these teachers gave using iPads. I applaud them for their efforts. It was a learning experience for everyone, myself included.

If you have any thoughts or ideas about iPad use in the classroom, please leave me a comment.

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