[Category: In Class]
Using the iPad to Create and Share Learning Journeys
by Paul Scott
The iPad has been with us now for several years and many schools in the UK now have access to their own or shared device in the classroom. It is easy for schools to use quite restrictive and repetitive apps to reinforce knowledge in various subjects but for me the iPad is a great device to use creatively to record and share learning journeys. The camera is often under estimated but can be simply used to capture and perform simple edits on images and videos. This can be used to record scientific investigations, capture drama exercises or provide hard evidence of learning.
Still images can be quickly dropped into apps like PicCollage to quickly create a collage of learning. This can be annotated with short texts and is also a simple way to create sequencing activities. Work can be saved as an image to be printed or added to other apps.
Simple explanations of an activity or process can be made exciting through recording as a video or even better by using an app like Tellagami. This allows a pupil to create a character (Gami) and then record speech or use the text to speech engine, to provide a description or explanation of an area of their learning including a suitable background image. The end product looks very impressive and the children are highly motivated to complete the task effectively through the use of the technology. The finished video can be exported and shared online via a blog/other online hosting site, QR codes or combined with more content using other apps such as Book Creator.
QR Codes are now quite common and a very popular use of them is to share video content quickly with parents. Traditionally the video to be shared could be uploaded to sites such as YouTube or Vimeo but a quick solution is to create the video you want to share and save it using cloud storage sites such as OneDrive and Google Drive. Once here you can get a URL to share the clip (you may have to change the access rights to the file via the file menu in OneDrive or Google Drive). Once you have the URL you can paste this into a QR code generator site to create a QR code. This code can then be printed out and stuck in a book, a classroom wall or a space where parents or visitors congregate. There are many free QR code readers that parents can download to their smartphones to access the video via the QR code. A quick and easy way to share learning in the classroom with a wider audience; just ensure you have the necessary permissions from parents to share the images of their children.
I mentioned Book Creator earlier and this can work on most tablets and PCs. It allows content from a variety of sources (including those mentioned) to be combined together to make an interactive book. It is great for recording evidence of learning journeys of pupils over time or recording evidence to support the achievement of a specific topic as an interactive book. All these apps are easy to use, inexpensive (or free) and allow the digital content and learning to be integrated into the classroom raising engagement and attainment.
Paul has over 18 years of Primary school teaching experience in the UK and abroad where he was responsible for the effective use of technology across the whole school. He became a Curriculum Innovation consultant 14 years ago and now manages the Curriculum Innovation Service in Bradford where he works strategically with local, regional and national partners ensuring the safe and effective use of appropriate technologies to raise attainment and engagement across the curriculum. He is passionate about utilising technologies to change existing pedagogy allowing pupils to become engaged and independent lifelong learners. Paul is a qualified E-Safety Mark Assessor, CEOP Ambassador, Childnet Trainer and Into Film CPD Practitioner. He is known nationally for the work he has done in the area of Digital Leadership through the Bradford Digital Leader Academy.