“Prove it works Vickie! ” – prove that the iPad adds an extra dimension to the students learning. I have been unyielding in my belief that the iPad, once embedded into the normal way of learning and accepted into the curriculum will result in the students showing their understanding in creative, collaborative and exciting ways. Today – proof was given.
What did I use in class today? Scratch, Scratch Jr , Showbie , Quik, Trilby Tv & Book Creator.
Collaborative, informed and responsible learners are the ultimate aim of any digital strategy that I support. The students should have exposure to the skills that will support them as informed digital citizens. Digital natives that work confidently, flexibly and on reflection try to improve and refine their skills. Appointing digital leaders in the school goes some way to achieving this lofty aim. However, at my present school, all the children get the opportunity to be a digital leaders, mentor and tutor to allow others to benefit from their digital skills. This enhances their self confidence and motivates them as they reap the reward of feeling valued for their skill set. ( plus the odd dojo or house point too!)
The summer born Year 1’s had their first introduction to Scratch jr, having experienced coding using the beebot and using the excellent NAACE site to instruct the screen robot, they were up for a challenge. So the Year 5&6 coding Queens and Kings embarked on a 30 minute mentoring session to familiarise their young counterparts using Scratch jr.
After the initial three minute introduction, the pairs were off designing their own games with the sprites based on “under the sea” topic. The knowledge that the students brought to the task was burgeoning but interestingly because these young students have yet to fully master reading or be fluent in spelling the ability for them to communicate their ideas through the speech function made their eyes sparkle. The instant feedback of inputting the code and seeing the result was a revelation for some as their own confidence grew in front of my eyes. Moreover, the gentle sharing and handling of being a teacher, was expertly administered by the older ones. Responsible, informed and creative learners. What more proof do you need that the introduction of technology can both support and at times accelerate understanding.
The work completed was shared back to Showbie directly from the app (although the airdrop function hides this feature) and shared via AirPlay onto the screen back in reception class to the utter astonishment but pride of their teachers. the work was also share don the screen I the assembly hall via Apple TV so the rest of the school were able to celebrate the high quality learning. Finally, the screens around the school displayed the positive images of our school community learning together using Trilby Tv as well as added to the schools website via an embedded code that the clever widgets incorporated in Trilby Tv allows. Technology is now established by all the stakeholders within the school