Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thinking and organising with iPads at OLA

What an exciting and exhilarating term it has been at OLA

This term the Year Four students at OLA have learnt so much and we have also been able to refine our skills taught in Term 1. The novelty has worn off, which has allowed for us to use the iPads as a quality learning tool across KLAs.

Before we start a writing task we would use Popplet to organise our thoughts.
William, a student in Year 4, says "Popplet is great. I can write down my ideas on the topic and then organise them in chronological order." Another child, Ryan, said that through using Popplet it minimises having to flick through pages to see their plan. Overall the students enjoy using Popplet as they aren't restricted to having their information on an A4 page and they are also able to include images which is great for visual learners.

Here are a few examples of Popplet being used for planning and brainstorming:

A flowchart on how to be safe at school

This student organises her tasks through Popplet

Both these students organised their research on Famous Australian Explorers

iMovie has been another feature that we have been using in our learning. Through iMovie students have been able to create book reviews using the Trailer feature. This has taught the students that they must think wisely about their choice of trailer, looking at how many images they need to put in order for the trailer to be complete. It has enabled them to also learn about copyright and plagiarism.

In Religious Education the students were given the option to present their knowledge of Baptism on their iPads.  Students were allowed to use an App that they felt most comfortable with. Some chose Keynote, others a Google Doc and iMovie.

Here are some examples of their work:

Some of the slides from Brady's Keynote presentation on Baptism

A video illustrating James' knowledge of Baptism

Throughout the term we have been experimenting with folders. At first we thought having separate KLA folders would be best. We later realised this was a bit tedious for the students to move their documents into the folders we needed to for them to use their Safari app on Desktop version. After the iLearn PL day we realised the best way to move forward was to enable students to create their own folders and for us to manage them. 

Reflection has been key for us at OLA, for as teachers we need to know our students, where they are at and where to go from. Through Forms and Spreadsheets we have enabled students to answer reflection questions. 
We found that by using Spreadsheets, students had to make sure they didn't press undo as it would get rid of other students' work. The benefit of it was that students could go back and change answers, use other students' answers to help guide their answers and also it allowed for us to include images, such as DeBono's Thinking Hats. Forms is a great way to get students' answers and it has a less cluttered layout. We realised from the get go that when creating a form we needed to include a box for their names. We have since used Forms to create quizzes and through the ad on of Flubaroo we have been able to allow the system to mark their answers. 

Example of Excel being used to reflect on Easter Hats based on DeBono's Thinking Hats

This is one of the forms we created. In order for students to complete, you must send them the Link.

The layout of the Form (student view)

Results are shown through a spreadsheet.

Our goal for next term is to implement a class blog, that will allow for students to keep their work samples, to allow for parents to see what they are doing in class and to be transferred to the Year Five teachers next year.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Organising your iPad classroom with Google Drive

Google Drive on the iPad provide teachers and students an effective way of accessing, organising, sharing and providing feedback on student work.

In the following slides an effective workflow is proposed with examples.  View the slides for step by step instructions or download it as a PDF (below).

Download the pdf:  Organising your iPad classroom with Google Drive.pdf

iLearn Anywhere - Using Combinations of Applications



Thursday, June 5, 2014

iLearn with iPads in Numeracy Professional Learning

On Tuesday 3rd June, we held our second professional learning day for the teachers involved in the iLearn 1-1 iPad project. This time our focus was particularly on the effective use of the iPad in the Numeracy Block. We were fortunate to have Melissa King join the presentation team. We had a great day. Some of the activities we engaged in are outlined: 

Teachers engaged in a Quick Read and Respond activity with the NCTM position paper, The Use of Technology in the Learning and Teaching of Mathematics. Individual teacher reflections were captured using Educreations,  a simple digital whiteboard and screencasting tool. 

We also  shared another very useful NCTM article, What Are Some Strategies for Facilitating Productive Classroom Discussions?  The article identifies 9 key strategies for facilitating productive discussions including: 

1. Anticipate strategies that students might use to solve the tasks and monitor their work,  & 2. Use Teacher Discourse Moves to move the mathematics forward"

We then wondered:
How can the use of the a range of ICT tools extend & enhance the mathematical discourse opportunities in our 1-1 classrooms?

In other words, can we think beyond selecting and using the so called " best Maths apps” ? Should we instead be considering how can we utilise the available ICT tools to support the types of discourse  which will advance students abilities to reason mathematically and communicate their solutions with their teachers and peers.

Capturing Arrays with the Camera

Throughout the day participants were immersed in a range of practical warm up tasks and rich investigations. They frequently used the camera and screencasting apps such as Explain Everything to capture and share their solutions.  Melissa also modelled how powerful it is when the teacher is the user of the iPad camera and Explain Everything to capture students thinking during a maths session. The teacher seizes a "teachable moment" and then uses Airplay to discuss student solutions, and also provides enabling prompts to help further the learning.
Cinema Task Solution on Explain Everything

Warm Up - "Busting Arrays"

"Investigating Quadrilaterals" with Geoboard App
Some key takeaway messages from the day were:
  • Using iPads in Numeracy is less about the apps and more about making mathematical thinking and reasoning visible? 
  • The camera on the iPad is a powerful digital tool which, when used strategically, can enhance and support substantive mathematical conversations. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

St Joseph's Primary School Kingswood

St Joseph's Primary School Kingswood          Term 2- Week 5

Parent Response: This recording is from a parent of a year 4 student. The students were asked to discuss the I-Learn Project with their parents and record their responses. Some learners wrote down what their parents said and some took a recording of their parents response. This response was taken 1 day after the learners received their i-pads. 


Student Work Samples: 

Here are some work samples from our year 4 students. 

This is poster about a shared book, used in English, created using the Pages App. 

This is an example of a page in a students Web Journal. The Web Journal has been created using the I-Photo App. Every student started a journal on the first day of school with their i-pads. The students write about different apps they have used and what they are learning by using the app.

This is another example of a page in a students Web Journal. Year 4 went on an excursion to the Apple Store. The people at the Apple Store were impressed with the knowledge the students already had, about the i-pads and various apps, due to the I-Learn program.

Photo's of Year 4 Learning with our I-Pads

We use Reflector and/or Apple TV to share the work we are doing on our i-pads. It is connected to the interactive whiteboard so we can see everything on the big screen. 

Children love sharing their work and teachers use this as valuable reflection time during lessons.  

St Joseph's Kingswood - Kidblog


Year 4 have been enjoying their learning even during the school holidays. At the end of term 1 we started to use Kidblog. We have different posts for different topics, for example:

  • I-Learn - Comments about what we have learnt so far. 

  • Mathematics - Open ended tasks that we can do at any time.

  • Blogging Questions - If we would like to know how to do something

  • Holidays -  Comments, questions etc about the holidays.

  •  Open Ended Maths Task

    We use Keynote, I-Movie and Pages during our menu board activities. 

    We use Keynote, I-Movie and Pages during our menu board activities.
    Students Airdrop their work to the teacher.  

    • We use the apple tv and airplay to share our work.
    • We use the Popplet App for brainstorming and recording our ideas.
    • Along with bibles we have used youtube clips to watch parables in Religion 
    •  We use Keynote, I-Movie and Pages during our menu board activities.   
    • In maths we used an online spinner for a chance experiment instead of making a paper spinner.  We use google to research topics eg. Magnets for Science & Technology 
    • Homework activities are marked in our calendar along with school activities eg. 
    • Cross country, Easter, Good Friday and we added birthdays for our family and friends.            
    • We record our I-learn journey in notes by doing journal entries.
    • We have recorded ourselves reading and watched it back

    Learning with iPads in 3/4 Grey - So far

    Well, where do we start. The children in 3/4 grey have been having a marvelous time creating and presenting using ipads in the classroom. What a great motivational tool they are proving to be. 

    We have thus far been using Explain Everything to make presentations to support the learning we are doing in our integrated unit about Australia. With a brief demonstration of the various tools on this app, I found the best way for the students to learn was to let them experiment and play with the variety of functions. Within ten minutes they were far better than me in using it. This app allows us to use text, pictures, videos and audio to make presentations.

    Nicole has been visiting and helping us at Chisholm each Tuesday. She demonstrated the app Strip Design, which has been very useful in creating posters. We've been using these posters as representing books we have read, therefore making the children summarise the main points of the text the are reading.

    The children have also been taking many pictures of their learning and keeping a record of what they have done.

    I love the fact that the children can take photos of various things around the room. For instance their spelling lists, instructions for activities or even parts of books so they don't all have to fight for the book.