It’s been 2 Years now since I first introduced iPads into the infant school and to be honest some things have changed a lot and others not much at all has changed. One thing that hasn’t changed much is our use of core iPad
apps. These apps have stood the stet of time, they have allowed our students to create, share, engage and imagine more than we had hoped for. So let’s take a look at them:
QR Codes – These little bar codes are packed with punch. They have been successful in a number of different areas for us including library, outdoor spaces and in the classroom. They have allowed our students to very quickly an easily access information. Have you ever thought about where these codes all started. Take a look at the History of QR Codes.
Green Screening – who would have thought a few years ago that 4- year olds would be making movies with green screening. An app called Green Screen by DoInk has been a big success with our young learners. They used it during science lessons to explain the life cycle animals in the ocean to re-creating their very own fairytales. It has been a successful element in engaging reluctant writers and has even had our quietest students speaking up.
Mind mapping – This is a skill that infant teachers have always used, however the app called Popplet has brought this to a new level. It has given students some independence in brainstorming ideas and has allowed for more visual learning to take place. Students have mapped out their story settings, character descriptions and facts about a topic. This has led to much more accurate writing skills. It has again allowed reluctant writers to engage in the task and given them a scaffold and confidence moving towards the writing task.
Story Writing – This involves both fiction and non-fiction writing. Book Creator has opened the doors for our students to create some beautiful books. With book creator we have been able to give students an audience for their writing. As books are stored in the ibooks app we have been able to share them to parents and other classes around the school. Book creator allows for all levels of writers to create, as they add audio text and images, they see their creations come to life.
Drama – Getting young children to perform is never hard, given the right tools. With Puppet Pals students can bring stories to life. Students are encouraged to think about their voice, character movements on the stage and the setting of the story. Students have created characters through art sessions and photographed them into the story. A great way to enhance the ‘talk for writing’ which Pie Corbett has trail blazed.
Instructional Videos – This app has revolutionised how we deliver some content to students but also how they deliver their understanding of learning to us. Educreations is very simple video making tool, it allows for text, voice and images to all come together to form a short video. Our less able writers have used it to produce a recount of their field trip and our more able writers have used it to help put together the language required to describe their setting of a story. Because the videos can be reviewed, we find it is a great tool for teachers to create short instructional or ‘how to’ videos for student as well.
Collaboration – As discussed in my previous post, we are just beginning with these groups of applications but we are finding the ease of use to be brilliant. Google Drive for Education has allowed workflow and collaboration to be a focus for our young learners. Teachers are beginning to ease with which students engage with documents and how sharing of knowledge has become more authentic.
This list is by no means an end. We use many other applications to engage and enhance learning experiences, however we have found these apps to be the core of what we want to see our students doing on the iPads.