Monday 9 November 2015
I believe that mobile technologies have a lot to offer our students. One thing I have been helping our teachers set up is blogs for our early years students (K- Year 2) using iPads and the EasyBlogger App. The students are creating work, writing, speaking, videoing, photographing... and above all, making their learning known. From there, they are able to share their learning through student friendly apps. Because the learning is shared on the web, this can be accessed from anywhere and shared with whoever the child wishes to learn with.
One challenge I have had as I have begun working with the early years teachers and the iPads more is that the iPads require teachers taking an active approach to make sure they are charged. There have been numerous lessons where I go into the classroom to support teachers but they haven't charged the iPads from the day before and thus, the students do not have the tools they need.
Another challenge I had at the beginning of the year was choosing apps to put on the iPads. In the past, there have been a lot of games on the iPads and not a lot of content creating applications. This year I wanted to ensure the teachers and students had access to applications that served more than one purpose. Apps like Explain Everything can be used in any subject at any grade. This will also help with continuity for the students throughout the early years at our school and will minimize the time students require 'learning' the app before they can use it.
While challenges exist, I believe that the benefits outweigh them. I witnessed a 3 year old girl hearing her own voice for the first time and the excitement she had when she was able to record herself talking about the purple flower she had shown. I just had a lesson with Year 2 students using Maps and then screenshots to document their travels and zoom in on certain locations. Then they used Explain Everything to expand and reveal their journeys. These types of experiences are just a few of so many that wouldn't be possible without the use of mobile technology.