It is not about the technology. It is about how the learning technology readily allows and the avenues technology opens up for students to demonstrate their learning. iPads readily allow all our learners to create, collaborate and communicate. Last year Woodenbong Central School purchased and trialled a class set of over 20 iPads with our primary students. The project is co-ordinated and lead by our Kindergarten teacher.
In 2011 Kindergarten students used iPads to augment their Accelerated Literacy lessons. They used iPad apps to make movies and ebooks: allowing students to collaboratively design and produce work and have themselves heard or seen in the finished product. Videos, photos and voiceovers have provided the students with greater ownership and sense of pride in their projects than any other throughout the year.
The iPad project has also provided students with an opportunity to demonstrate and describe their learning, as the embedded videos in a previous post.
This technology has also assisted the students to become independent learners and problems solvers. As the teachers says:
It was rare for anyone iPad lesson to happen in the Kindergarten class with only me being the teacher. Through investigating and exploring the students learnt a lot about the apps and were able to show me new things. The most impressive part of the program for me has been watching and listening to the discussions from young minds as they work together to solve problems. To many people they are simply playing but as we listen to their language it is clear that they are learning new skills from every activity.
In 2012 Woodenbong Central School will continue with the iPad trial. One area we will explore is music and the possibility of developing a GarageBand Band.
This project has also highlighted the role of social media in 21st Century learning. Educational blogs and being able to put questions on Twitter have readily resolved issues as they arose. Personal Learning Networks on social media are an important asset for teaching today.
It is not about the technology it is about good pedagogy. iPads are engaging but without an educational purpose and being seen as value to the students they would readily lose their novelty value.