I borrowed an iPad2 to take to my French classes to see whether they would be any good in class or not. To cut a long story short I have found with my year 8s (beginners) it has been a real eye opener and I’d love to have a class set so they could share one between two. With my year 9s I have found they explore it more and like to see what it really does. With my year 11s they have really enjoyed using the advanced French apps . My year 8s don’t have laptops so they would really help in class. For the other year levels a couple of iPads would provide a different approach to learning french and a break from the intense approach of a laptop. The benefits I can see at present:
1. I loaded Documents free and ask students to record what they have done on the iPad there and save as a text. They have also saved images and drawings for me by using the camera and image apps. They are very honest in their appraisals and work output.
2. Every student has been totally absorbed when they have been using the iPad and any conversation has been totally about the work on the iPad.
3. Students know how touse them even if they have never been on an iPad before.
4. They agree with me that the apps are everything and that I have chosen good apps for them. Not one thinks they would replace a laptop and I agree with that.
5. The year 8s who use them can produce far better quality work if I show them the right apps or websites. I have been astounded by the level of output from the year 8s who have used it.
6. Adding the Documents Free was a good move on my part because students like to tell you what they have learned and how they learnt it.
7. iPads have a coolness factor extraordinaire. I became instant cool teacher when I brought it into class and studnets do not mind at all waiting for a turn.
8. It has really given them a motivation boost. They like pitting themselves against an iPad app. It doesn’t seem like work to them.
9. They have treated it very carefully and with respect.
10. The iPad has shown them apps they can download themselves and use on their iPod Touch or iPhone.
Now I have found the right sorts of apps and can see each year level is unique in using it I am going to explore the notion of creating work on the iPad since my year 8s have shown me they can be a real asset when it comes to producing better quality assignments in their books. I am also going to get them to rate the apps. I am getting the idea of which ones are popular and they find useful, but I need to clarify that more.