10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom

Introducing one-to-one iPad’s into classrooms has become one of the hottest topics of conversation. I thought I would share with you the benefits I see of this new form of technology in schools. The 10 things I love about using iPad’s in my classroom is written through the lens of the Learner Profiles from International Baccalaureate (IB), in the context of the Primary Years Program (PYP).

In my teaching and research I see iPad’s developing students to be…

inquirer

Iquirers

  • They are able to ask and present questions verbally and in written form (Siri, search engines, word processing, voice recording apps eg notability)
  • with one-to-one devices students are able to be independent in their learning, not only working in working by themselves instead of sharing devices/computers, but teachers are able to tailor the use of apps and activities to cater for individual needs. This provides excellent opportunity for differentiation in learning. For example iPad’s give students the opportunity to watch a video, listen to text or read text and then respond through a video diary (iMovie), voice recording (Garage Band), word processing (Pages) or even just presenting dot points or observation/key words (Visual Poetry).
  • students are quicker to engage with technology and don’t give up as easily on tasks set using iPad’s

thinkerThinkers

  • They use what they know to research, create, write & publish
  • They use their prior knowledge to link with new; technology, information, and understanding how to use universal & content specific apps
  • they make decisions on content they view and create

communicator

Communicators

  • follow directions eg. how to use an app
  • express ideas in more than one mode; visual (art, photo, video) , aural (video, voice recording), written (word processing, note taking, visual poetry)
  • work together with others eg one group creating sound in Garage Band while another group works in iMovie and then merging the 2 projects for final presentation

knowledgeableKnowledgeable

  • explore; locally using note taking apps, videoing or voice recording interviews, viewing local websites or globally using the internet or You Tube
  • use a range of disciplines to get an in-depth understanding (viewing, reading, listening, interviewing)

risktaker

Risk takers

  • iPad’s enable students to make mistakes, there is always the ‘back’ or ‘undo’ function
  • they encourage students to explore and do or present things in new ways (written, video, image, oral)

principled

Principled

  • the opportunity to learn how to act with integrity and honesty in their use of iPad’s (publishing content, social media, taking photo’s and video)
  • the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions and use of the device, accepting any consequences that come along with misuse

caring

Caring

  • the opportunity to show responsibility for an expensive piece of equipment
  • the opportunity to act thoughtfully using blogs and social media in critiquing peers work (Edmodo, Social media, Instagram)

openminded

Open minded

  • listening to, viewing and commenting on other’s work (Edmodo, Web browsers, Youtube, blogs)
  • accepting that you can present information in a variety of ways (written, oral, visual)
  • acknowledging that you can look at things and interpret different meanings or points of view (eg Youtube, music)

balanced

Balanced

  • understanding that not all your time and all your learning should be spent on the iPad
  • being organised and using time wisely (organisation apps eg calendars, time logs, timers)

reflectiveReflective

  • about their learning (blogs, video diaries, written diaries, Edmodo, social media)
  • thinking about how things could have been done better eg. could we use a different app

Using iPad’s in my classroom has enriched and diversified my teaching program. I believe they are definitely a fantastic tool if used to their full potential in catering for students needs.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Another great Article on BYOD in the classroom

edudemic-logoHere is another great read.

http://www.edudemic.com/how-to-byod-classroom/

The article talks about:

  1. Set realistic expectations and outcomes in regards to why you are using the device.
  2. Planning thoroughly to avoid dead time in the classroom in an era where the students can most of the time know more than us with this new technology and always have PLAN B!
  3. Universality is the best, setting tasks that allowing students to choose the app they feel comfortable working in and not limiting them to a certain app.

enjoy the read

blessings

Cheryl

Mistakes Schools Can Make Implementing the Use of iPads (my comments on an article written by Tom Daccord)

tablet-ABC-on-desk-400x265I was sent a link to this fantastic article (click on the title below) on implementing iPad’s in Schools and the mistakes schools/teachers can make.

5 Critical Mistakes Schools Make With iPads (And How To Correct Them) By on September 27, 2012@edtechteacher

Tom highlights these as the 5 critical mistakes made

  1. Focusing on content apps
  2. lack of teacher preparation in classroom management of iPads
  3. treating the iPad as a computer and expecting it to serve as a laptop
  4. treating iPads as multi-user devices
  5. failure to communicate a compelling answer to “why iPads”

I would have to say that in my experience working in 2 different schools implementing the use of iPad’s as both one-to-one devices and mutlti-use/class sets these are definitely some of the areas we have had to think about, experience and work though ourselves in trying to work out the most effective and efficient use of this new technology. As I myself make mistakes in using this new teaching methodology, as any person does when implementing new things, I am constantly learning what works and what doesn’t. This I will share with you along the way.

In my own music classroom I have come to realise that focusing on using only music apps is not the way to go to efficiently use this technology. As you will see with a lot of my posts so far, I use many other apps that are not content specific. While content apps can be a great resource for teaching specific knowledge, combining these with the use of other apps opens up the use of iPad’s to be more inquiry based learning.

As an author/web app developer myself, I am actually working at the moment on a content specific music app (The interactive Music Room: Book 4) hopefully it will be ready for distribution early 2013. As I create each lesson in the app I am constantly aware of allowing the activities to be as open to creativity as possible, not locking students into a black & white, right or wrong answer, thus not limiting the students when creating & composing.

I would say that the more research & PD I have done has definitely helped me to become more confident in using iPad’s. I have also found that I need to be an expert on how an iPad works to problem solve & fix issues with student’s iPads, for example understanding how settings can impact on the ability to use apps.

I definitely advocate for the use of one-to-one iPads in the classroom, however the implementation is not as easy as 1,2,3. If you are thinking of going down this path I would definitely encourage you to read this article and share it with your colleagues.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

iPads and QR Codes in the Classroom

This month I presented my first Professional Development workshop at the Music Technology in Education Conference in Melbourne, Australia, on using iPad’s in the music classroom.

I had really great feedback from the participants and hope to do more presentations around Australia in the next 12 months.


iPad’s and QR Codesqrcode.16232767

Part of my presentation was on using QR codes to provide files and information to students or an audience.

Have you ever been frustrated when writing a website address on the whiteboard and it takes over 10 minutes for all students to correctly type it in?! The answer to this problem is a tablet device with a QR code reader app such as i-nigma.

I had seen these little, funny looking, square barcodes on cereal boxes, milk containers and in magazines but I had never realised I could use them in the classroom as an extremely quick way for students to access a website (or 20+ other things the bar codes can deliver to you).

 

All the students have to do isinigma qr code reader

  1. download a QR reader, i-nigma is a fantastic free app on both i-Tunes & Google Play
  2. scan the QR code you have created on a free QR creator website, there are many but I really like  www.qrstuff.com
  3. The app will direct them to go online, or to wherever your QR code takes them

 

screentake 1  screentake 2  screentake 3  screentake 4

pacific harmonies qr posterI download the QR code I create, then display it on a poster in my classroom see my example to the right:

This poster is a link to the Bushfire Press additional support material for the Pacific Harmonies module in Music Room: A developmental classroom music program Book 6 you may download a PDF of this here: pacific harmonies qr poster

There are so many ways you can use QR codes, directing students to websites is only 1 of them. You can create QR codes and place them around the classroom for

  • quick access to websites (no typing of url needed!)
  • dropbox links
  • answers to questions (in text format not on a website)
  • google map location
  • app store download
  • iTunes link
  • create a scavenger hunt

Download my instructions for using QR codes in the classroom here: QR_code_instructions_10_2014

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Combining Garage Band & iMovie in the Music Classroom

midi keyboard setupOn a student free day last year my son inspired me to combine Garage Band and iMovie as a fun way to fill a rainy day spent inside.

It started off as any normal day teaching Oscar his piano lesson until he decided he wanted to record the song he was practicing ‘Icecream’ in Music for Little Mozarts Book 2 (we have a KeyControl 49 XT MIDI controller keyboard attached to my iPad though a camera connection kit and played through the Apple App Garage Band) .

So we had a few practices and then hit record, thankfully for a 6 year old he has a pretty good understanding and grasp of beat because it took only 2 to trys and we had a recording of him playing the melody we were happy with.

I then taught him how to add himself singing the song with the audio recorder and then showed him how to add loops in.  I can not claim to have helped him choose because as any mother of a 6 year old will tell you, you are not allowed to offer suggestions… “MUUUUMMMM I can do it myself!”

This is the result of what he composed: oscar garage band song

  • Classical Grand Oscar played & recorded himself on the keyboard
  • Kit & Elec Guitar are loops he chose fom Garage band library
  • The Audio Recorder is him singing

Now he was quite chuffed with his result but oh no it wasn’t finished there… now we had to do the music video so I sent him to to organise his props & dressups and to practice performing, by now his little sister, Natalia, had joined in the fun and Oscar decided she was to be his backup singer.

I filmed them performing and then Oscar helped me design his music video using iMovie and this is the result

*The Icecream Rap by Oscar

(*he wanted to call his arrangement “The Icecream Rap”. The original is ‘Icecream’ from Music for Little Mozarts by Barden, Kowalchyk & Lancaster (c) MCMXCIX Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.).

I have just started a project similar to this in my music classroom this week and it is working really well.  I won’t show you the outcome as I don’t want to post images of my students online and you get the idea from what Oscar & I did. The project is based on Bushfire Press’s Music Room: a developmental classroom music program, Book 6 Module 3 Pacific Harmonies Lesson 4.

I have split my Year 6/7 class (of 18) into 2 groups, one is creating video & still shots for the opening credits of a Hawaiian movie using iMovie, the 2nd group will record the background music in Garage Band. They will be using a backing track supplied by Bushfire Press and then adding their own recordings; a glockenspiel harmony, bongo beat and instrumental/non-instrumental sound effects and maybe some loops already available in Garage Band.

This is part of their IB PYP Unit of Inquiry into performance and will be shown at their end of year concert. What is fantastic about this is that all students are actively engaged in a project and those that are not all that enthusiastic about music are enjoying being part of the project in another way.

I hope this inspires you to not only use Garage Band in your music classroom but combine it with iMovie to broaden the classroom experience.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

Displaying iPads in the Classroom

Reflector_iPadInsightI have found a great software package  called Reflector which you can download onto your computer to allow students to mirror their iPad’s onto your screen.

The free trial allows you to use it for 10 minutes  and the full version costs  $12.99.

Your computer will need to have a wifi connection.

For me this is fantastic because I do not have Apple TV in my classroom but I do have my laptop, Data Projector and wifi.

I love using this because it not only allows me to display my students work for the whole class to see, it also allows me to take screen shots of their work and save to my computer straight away instead of trying to get my students to email it to me.

I have created an instruction pdf for you to download. Download here Reflector display Instructions.pdf

I would love to hear your thoughts on how you have used this or similar software in your classroom.

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl

But I don’t have an Interactive Whiteboard!

have no fear… there are other ways around it!

In the current school I work at I do not have an interactive whiteboard in my room.

Having just invested in an iPod I came across an app called Air Display which allows you to control your computer remotely from your mobile device, trialling this by using one of the school’s iPads I then invested in an iPad myself.

I now successfully run my lessons with my laptop attached to a data projector and pass my iPad around the class for the students to interact with the screen.  The students love this and I feel it is just as interactive as if I had an IWB. In fact I like it better as my students remain seated and I take the iPad to them.

computer attached to data projector, iPad mirroring the computer through 'Air display'.
computer attached to data projector, iPad mirroring the computer through ‘Air display’.
student manipulating the computer screen via the iPad
student manipulating the computer screen via the iPad

below is a handout I wrote for my Interactive Music Room presentation at MTEC in Melbourne in April.

air display handout

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Teach to transform!

Cheryl