Semester 1 Seminar 2: Mobile Technology in the classroom
In this seminar we discussed the use of iPads in the classroom, and how making the most of the technology available today can make lessons interesting and unique. One of the apps that we explored is Book Creator, which is a brilliant interactive way for children to create stories – documenting what they have learnt, or just for fun. In addition, we also looked at the app Explain Everything, which is a way for teachers to plan and deliver lessons through technology. For instance, it is possible to not only include text and pictures, but also QR codes – which could be used to reveal a series of instructions, and is a way for all of the children to get involved by using iPads. Voice recording is another feature available with use of this app, which means that the teacher can also share information or instructions this way. The use of such technology helps children to become more ‘digitally literate’ but also creates alternative lessons which are fun and memorable.
We then decided on a theme for photos we could take from inside and outside the university using our iPads, to create a trail. The theme in my group was ‘shapes and patterns’, and we used our iPads to capture a range of images, including things that were spotty, square, thick, thin, rectangular and circular. Returning to the classroom, we used Book Creator to begin to create a story which represented our journey and the shapes that we found.
BBC Active: iPads in the Classroom (Source:http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/iPadsintheClassroom.aspx)
This article illustrates the mainly positive contributions that the use of iPads have on children’s learning and teacher’s practice, such as equal and easy access to a vast range of information, improved communication and the prompting of teachers to increase in their sharing of resources. However, it also raises problems such as the maintenance of iPads, as well as the issues of breakage and loss. Other uses of iPads listed also include: making videos, taking notes during class, live debates and discussion forums and talking to students from abroad. In my opinion, when used alongside outstanding teaching methods, iPads provide a great advantage for pupils through the creation of new and exciting opportunities.
When researching resources available to support the use of iPads in classroom practice, I came across a very informative and useful blog entitled: PRIMARYIPADCLASSROOM (Source: http://primaryipadclassroom.com/). This page has a huge range of ideas and tips for how teachers can incorporate the use of iPads into their teaching and includes app reviews also. A few ideas include: a World War 2 QR Code hunt, developing inference skills using the Strip Designer app, and using an app called Funny Movie Maker to bring animations to life – which could be linked to topic work. The blog also provides a range of other app suggestions, including: Popplet for mind-mapping, TinyTap to create games linked to aspects of children’s learning and also a website named Transum (http://www.transum.org/iPad/Maths.asp) which offers a range of maths games designed for iPad use.
Journal article: Fallon, G. (2015) ‘What is the Difference? Learning collaboratively using iPads in conventional classrooms’ Computers & Education 84 62-77.
This article explains a survey’s aim of identifying how features of iPads and apps affected children’s ability to work collaboratively. To discover this, data was collected from almost 100 New Zealand primary school students, of different ages, who used iPads for collaborative learning. The survey addressed both design and technical features of iPads and concluded that ‘when embedded in thinking classrooms as an everyday learning tool…iPads may be a powerful resource for supporting collaborative learning.’ (Fallon, 2015:76). It suggests that the greatest factor in this is the advantage of students receiving feedback promptly, in addition to the ‘design, robustness, reliability and ease of networking’ (Fallon, 2015:76). However it is acknowledged that there is a need for further studies to discover whether these positives actually improve learning.