The past 8 weeks have seen a shift in focus for our iPad implementation program, an acknowledgement of the role that our parents play in the success of such a program. iPad workshops for infant parents were seen as a priority and there were a number of aims for holding these workshops –
- To gain an understanding of how technology has progressed in Education of the past few years
- To gain an understanding of the world your child is growing up in
- To understand how ipads in the infant classroom are authenticating learning
Parents were led through photos and video evidence of children engaging with iPads and iTouches in the classroom from Nursery to Year 2 children. The final part of the workshop gave parents a hands on opportunity to use 5 apps which we highlighted as essential to the current curriculum.
You Doodle – Our Nursery children have spent many weeks focussing on photography. Each class received their own waterproof and shockproof compact camera for Christmas. They have also been exploring the camera on the itouch as we discussed the importance of – asking permission before taking a photo of someone, ensuring your ‘subject’ is in the frame and finally how to enhance photos. As some of the classes had a role play focus of Castles, Kings and Queens, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take photos of each other, add crowns and jewels and print them off. A great app for also concentrating on fine motor skills. The children have a new found love for photography and are beginning to share the ‘why’ behind taking certain photos. Parents were encouraged to allow children to take photos whilst on holidays and trips.
The book creator app was a big hit amongst the parents. The app demonstrated an alternative to a holiday journal. We discussed those children who were unable to access the written text and the parents loved the audio option for each book. Our Year 1 children have enjoyed making non-fiction books about plants with this app.
Puppet Pals was seen by the parents as a wonderful way to express stories. Parents created characters through photos of their own and put together a very simple show. Ideas for boys were discussed, such as using their lego models, toy characters and the playground equipment as a background option. We discussed the importance of the verbal language being well developed before the written language can flow.
Popplet and Educreations apps were demonstrated as great homework or project apps. We looked at using Educreations to write the child’s name correctly or letters and sounds consolidation. I demonstrated how popplet was used during a fairytale unit to brainstorm words to describe fairytale characters. The parents liked the written option as well as the ability to insert images to help prompt children.
The feedback from the parents has been extremely positive with the common notion being they would love more opportunities to explore the possibilities of the devices.