I am now officially a blogger…this is a first. Rather than post at random, I think I may reflect at the end of each unit of study to consider in what ways the iPads have contributed. The 5th graders recently completed a study of plants. As part of the beginning of the unit students use field scopes to examine various of wood “cookies” (cross sections of trees and branches). They make observations and write down both noticings and questions. With the iPads they quickly discovered that they could take photo of a particular feature and include notes, captions, or write a question. They became adept at magnifying and zooming in to highlight and photograph the feature in question. For many, this allowed me to quickly answer their very specific questions. Some students chose to make a narrated video of their first impressions, specific observations and questions.
Later in the unit students become an expert on a topic of their choosing about plants. They then author their own “mini-book” on the topic. Here, students used the iPads to add research to their topic, and some chose to make a video advertising the instructional benefits of their “mini- book”. I would be interested to explore the possibility in the future of having students demonstrate their expertise on a topic by creating either an iMovie, or a video which would satisfy a few simple requirements. This would allow for even more creativity and would better enable the learning to be shared with their peers.
I look forward to new possibilities.