Thumbs up from the students

schoolYou just never know and you have to be open to never knowing in a classroom with technology. Last Friday my year 8s brought their iPads to school. This is the first year of Year 8s bringing their own devices so it’s all a learning curve. That lesson  I took them on a tiki tour of my iPad on the whiteboard so I could show them the apps I wanted them to download. I had given them a list. Some apps I wasn’t sure if they’d like and I had said that. We did the French apps …yes, yes, mm, okay, yes, mm…then we got to Explain Everything and I explained when they got their MacBooks they would be able to down load it on there too and I showed them. I said they could also put it on their home computer and work between their iPad and computer like I did. The energy level lifted. Their eyes lit up and I could see they were so keen to know about this app. I moved on to Educreations. I had opened a blank page, was putting in some text, a few squiggles, changing colours and got to the image part. Nothing on my camera roll  suited so I lifted my iPad and the students were so excited . I got the best photo of my class. We were all laughing and they were so involved. I put their image into my Educreation, wrote on Bonjour with my stylus, recorded “Bonjour, la classe!” and played it back to them on the board. That was learning. That was what they wanted. Monday when they came to class they had Educreations and  Explain Everything and had used them for their homework. Some apologised they hadn’t had time to download Explain Everything. There was no compulsion. It was interesting they wanted to apologise. So now I am looking at my year 8s in a new light. That photo moment has turned into a new learning curve for me. I realise these students want feature rich but simple layout apps. They want colour, text, paint, draw, sound and image. They want apps where you collate ideas in different modes. I had gone in with my plan to familiarise them with apps but they had moved my head on into a different thinking approach just because I took a picture. That meant something important to them and I need to work on that. I had noticed that iPads were like toys to these students. They were thinking of them in terms of diversion rather than intense learning so I had opened their eyes about how their iPad could really help them learn and they had shown me I could really teach far better with feature rich apps.


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