This year I am co-leading the iPad trial within my school with Corrie Barclay, my school’s ICT Leading Teacher.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to effectively integrate iPads in my learning and teaching program. I want my students’ learning experiences to be more than just using the stand alone apps. I don’t want my students to just type up stories in Pages or play games. I want my students to reflect on their learning, to track their progress, to think at a deeper level, to become creative authors and to transfer skills across different apps. I believe in the benefits of gaming, I just don’t want that to be the focus for the use of iPads in my classroom. I want to encourage discovery learning and peer coaching… and I want to promote student voice as well. I want my students to know that I value and acknowledge their thoughts, opinions and ideas. I also want my students to choose the app/s they feel best enables them to complete the learning tasks set.
Seeing I wasn’t part of the iPad experience last year, I wanted to hear what my students liked about the iPads, how they used them last year and how they would like to use them to assist their learning this year. To my surprise, my students’ responses weren’t all about playing games:
“I love using MathBoard because I love setting my own problems.”
“Touch Physics helps you with your thinking.”
“eBooks make reading fun!”
“I like Brain Quest because you answer questions and learn new facts.”
“I like how the games help me with my hand – eye co-ordination.”
These statements will help my team and I plan lessons our students will enjoy and be engaged in because they will feel a sense of ownership over the lesson design.