Friday, May 23, 2014

Term One in review - Sacred Heart Westmead

Year Four were all excited about receiving their new iPads.

Term One was an exciting time for Year 4 students at Sacred Heart Primary, Westmead.  They could not believe that they were the lucky class who were chosen to work with iPads.  The parents were also excited and supported their child by completing the relevant documentation and uploads at home.  There were some challenges with getting apps on iPads on but with the great technical support it was achieved with minimum fuss.   

We have been using several of the iPad apps in Term One.  The children were enthusiastic and creative in all of the their tasks.  These included using Educreations and Geoboard apps for their 2 and 3 D shape work.  They also used the iMovie app to create book trailers using picture books borrowed from the library.  

One the Year 4 students reflected on her experience with the school iPad in Term One. 

When I was told we were getting iPads I was so happy and surprised because we were the only class getting them, and we could use them for three years all the way to Year 6.  Once we got the iPads we had to learn how to use them.  We had to learn how to use Pages, Educreations, iMovie and many more apps.  I found that Pages was hard to use on the iPad because you couldn't fix a word that you knew the spelling was right, whereas on computers you could change it.  The hardest part was to download the apps, it took so long!  On the iPad, we also went on Safari and searched for information about Space and Councils.  The one thing that is very important is that iPads can never replace a teacher.

We are continuing to use these apps in Term Two, and will also be exploring GarageBand with iMovie to complete Space activities in Science and Technology.  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day

On Friday the 16th of May, Stage 2 at St Bernadette's Lalor Park were lucky enough to participate in the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day.

The students begun the day with an interactive lesson relating to the vegetables that the students were going to cook with throughout the day. These vegetables included: 




The students were given an outline of each of these vegetables and were asked to use their iPads to fill their vegetables with information about the vegetable. The students were so engaged in the task, and what a great way it was to learn about healthy food to eat!

Here are some of the images we took from the morning session of our Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Day!

The students then enjoyed cooking Jamie's "Rainbow Wraps"! It was very messy, but good food always comes from a messy kitchen! 

St Bernadette's Primary School signing off!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Reflecting on our iLearn journey so far

"People don't learn from experience; they learn from reflecting on their experience" 

I recently came across this quote by Thiagi and it seemed so appropriate. He further suggests that in sharing our reflections with others there is the potential for us to relate new experiences to the real world, discover useful insights and share them with each other. 

Professional Learning
A review of the research to date also suggests that the single most important factor in successful integration of the iPad is the teacher and the teaching and learning opportunities they provide for students. 

The studies all point to the importance of Teacher Professional Learning as a critical factor in supporting teachers to provide student learning. Our first iLearn PL Day was attended by 40 participants, including Principals, APs, and classroom teachers  from the 8 project schools. In the video below, participants reflected really deeply on their learning experiences and also on the implications for  their own classroom contexts. 

If you missed our iLearn Literacy Professional Learning Day can request enrolment  in our iTunesU Course "iLearn 2014: READY SET GO with 1-1 iPads" using  the following enrolment code in your iTunesU app on your  iPad.

We are busy planning our next Professional Learning Day which will have a focus on Numeracy.  On that day I plan to trial some of Thiagi's 6 Questions for Reflection during a group debriefing session. 

In the meantime I have been collecting lots of interesting resources which educators interested in Learning with iPads have generously shared. It includes links to research articles, classroom ideas, tips and tutorials. Check out  my iLearn Pinterest Board

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Why wait? Ask an "Expert" instead!

iPad "Experts"

When you're introducing a new app to the class (or sometimes even when you're using a well-known one!) there are always plenty of questions...

Whenever I've introduced a new app (or some new feature in an 'old' one)  I've had lines of students holding iPads standing in front of me, waiting- 'patiently'- for me to answer their questions so they could get back to their tasks.

This can be very stressful for teachers, who (if they're anything like me) feel the pressure of trying to answer all those questions quickly so that students don't waste too much time. It's also stressful for the students, who feel the pressure of trying to finish tasks with less time available to them.

So I had to quickly come up with a solution so that all the students' learning time wasn't becoming waiting time!

'Experts' helping each other out.
So, we came up with our "Experts"- that is students who were confident in using an app, who could answer the other students' questions.

The job of the 'Expert" was to pass on their skills to another student, who in turn had to pass on what they now knew to another student.

It has worked very well in our classroom, especially when learning how to use the Google drive effectively. We chose four student who were confident using Google drive both through the app and through Safari. They showed the other students what functions worked best through the app and through Safari.

We went from four "Google Drive Experts" in our class of 57,  to having at least half the class feeling confident in using Google drive both through the app and through Safari.

Now, a lot more students know that uploading photos to your Google drive is easier through the app, but creating documents and inserting/ manipulating photos is much easier when you log in through Safari.

We have "Experts" for Explain Everything and iMovie, "Experts" at bookmarking, web searching and organising photos. Questions are being answered quickly and the students are able to show each others tricks and shortcuts that the teachers didn't even now about! It has certainly taken the pressure off the teachers!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Don't get anymore Apps until you have utilised the Camera App fully

The Camera App is probably the best feature of the iPad for learning, and in combination with the built in Camera Roll App its full functionality is mostly under utilised.

Without using any other Apps at all students have the opportunity to document their work by photo, reflect on their work by videoing themselves responding.  They can also edit their photos to focus or zoom in on an aspect.  They can create folders of photos to organise their work and then create slideshows that they could Airplay in class.  
A little known function is the ability to reorganise your photos in a folder in your Camera Roll so that students can arrange the slideshow of photos in the order that they want. In a photo folder you select 'Edit' then touch/hold photos till they become moveable and then you can rearrange them in your album . 

Use the camera feature to get students to see the Maths shapes and concepts in the world around them and talk about it.  Take a photo of a book cover or page, airplay it and then respond in class orally to the images.  

A useful resource for ways to use the camera in learning is: 
10 ways to use your iPad camera in the classroom

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


iLearn with iPad Air

We on our way with the iLearn Project...Hip, hip, Horray!
Calendars, Pages and Notes,
Keynote, notes and Tellagami of course!
Popplets, photos and iMovies too.
Excitement reigns in our classrooms!

We began our iLearn journals. 

Parents responded to students journals using iMovie or notes. 

The LEARNING INTENTION and SUCCESS CRITERIA have helped us stay focussed and engaged with tasks, while learning to use apps to enhance learning.

Learn to.....

          Learn about....

Friday, May 2, 2014

Integrating the iPad into Reading Group Activities

St Bernadette's have made many changes to our English program in relation to our Reading Group Activities. The students were taught how to use a variety of applications that directly link to their Reading Group focus book or their Shared Reading book.

In order for the students to remain focused during the activities, students are always given a specific learning intention and success criteria task card. These task cards have been developed to be used in relation to a variety of stories and are continually developing according to the needs of the students. Here are some examples of the task cards:


One of our activities that we introduced to the students was to create a book trailer using the app iMovie (something we all learnt during our iLearn Professional Learning Day). The students were highly engaged and their skills using the application are only growing! It is amazing to see their skills develop overtime! Who knows where this will lead us!

We would love to upload some of their finished products when the students have finalised their iMovie's.

St Bernadette's Primary School signing off!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

iLearn at St. Joseph's Schofields

At St. Joseph’s we have been using the iPads throughout the day for various learning activities across Key Learning Areas.

During English reading groups to support our persuasive text focus the children have used Pic Collage to create posters promoting the St. Joseph’s community to new families who are currently enrolling in our school community. 

Students have used the Felt app to represent their favourite part of an ipick book that they are currently reading. Other students are then given an opportunity to guess each other’s felt creations. Students have also made book trailers using iMovie incorporating other apps within their movies e.g. a felt board images.

In Religion, the teachers and students created a book trailer summarising a bible story into a few key words, keeping the message of the biblical story. This allowed the children to gain a deeper understanding of the story; the children were engaged in the reading and viewing of the text.

During HSIE the children have created a product to advertise their local community. The students have created imovies, telegamis, billboard posters and magazine using pic collage.

We have tried to make the experience as an open-ended activity with very little structure in how to present or go about making their presentations and providing support or scaffold as required. In doing this, the children have produced work that has truly impressed us and they have been far beyond what we imagined they would be producing and their creativity has been truly inspiring.

We have experienced a few challenges and hurdles during the initial setup phase. It was important to set clear expectations and rules around transporting ipads to and from school, use of ipads in the classroom and the appropriate times to be on the device during class time. Eg not during teacher instruction. We continue to work on establishing a workflow and being able to share this with the teachers. We are currently working on children creating folders in google drive and sharing those folders with the teachers.

Overall having the i-pads in the classroom had enabled the students to approach tasks in a different way and enabled them to exercise their creativity. The iPads have been very helpful in enabling us to change our paradigm about teaching text and has provided opportunities for students to produce multimodal texts as we familiarise ourselves with the new English syllabus.

The magic school bus goes under the ocean Felt picture

Religion iMovie
Willy the Wimp iMovie Book Trailer

iPad Exploration at OLA

iPad Exploration at OLA

What a busy few weeks we have had learning with our iPads last term at OLA. We had time exploring several of the apps and working collaboratively with our peers on various tasks related to our topics.

One of the activities we loved was watching a YouTube clip based on the book Tuesday by David Wiesner. We had a look at the book before we viewed the video clip. 

Once we finished, we created a document in Google Drive and shared it with our buddy so we could collaboratively work on the document. For most of us, we had never done this before. We experienced some challenges with the task but we learnt a lot from the experience and look forward to using this new learning tool again.

Here are some of the stories we created to go with the beautiful illustrations in the book Tuesday by David Wiesner. 


In our final week of Term 1, as part of our Religion unit, we explored the events of Holy Week. We spent time focusing on the scripture passages and what happened at each event. Part of our learning was to reflect on what happened and share our understanding. Some of us used an app called Strip Designer which allowed us to create a comic strip to retell the event of Holy Week or a specific event. Here are some of the wonderful work we created.