What a wonderful surprise! iPads really make a difference in student learning and engagement. This has been so exciting and a great learning opportunity for me and my students. This is another technological tool that is making a difference and yes, Kindergarten children are finding lots of ways to use these tools as well as discovering lots of a ha’s about how this tool can help them to reflect and create learning experiences.
This post is a collection of photos and my observations about the positive impact that iPads have had and continue to have on learning. I want to share the excitement and ah ha’s I am noticing because an as educator this is where I see spark in the children and of course lots of authentic learning opportunities appear too!
I started the 1st day of Kindergarten by introducing these interactive tools to my class. We talked about being safe, kind and responsible as well as how it might help us with our learning. The children immediately started exploring with the iPads and instantly began figuring out how it worked! I was really impressed with how quickly the children adapted to this tool and of course the excitement. The touch screen really made it easy for the children to type and access the apps. Then the children began touching the screen and the exploration began.
As an educator I often think about all of the things I want and need to do during the course of a school day. It can be a bit overwhelming… So when presented with a tool that might make learning more accessible and engaging, I find myself beginning to see how many opportunities I have to make connections within my lessons as well as help children to become more engaged and invested in their own learning.
In the photograph you see a child creating a post on an iPad on her kidblog. As a class we spent time from the beginning of school talking about blogging, what it is, why do it and how it helps us with our learning. The children understand that when they blog, they need a title and thoughts that we call sentences. In the beginning I use lots of books to help demonstrate this point. I find that the more explicit you can be with children and the more tangible, concrete connections and comparisons you can make, the easier it is for children to grasp and begin to use technological tools. The beauty of this example is that this child knows 1 way to use the iPad in a meaningful, safe way. She is motivated to blog and share her ideas with others.
During a writing workshop time the children were creating illustrations and writing about what tools help us to become better spellers. Look at this illustration! I notice what came first in this child’s mind, an iPad!
During an “Echo Time”(Fundations/Reading Time) the children write the letters they hear at the beginning and at the end of words. They have opportunities to work on letter formation, starting at the top then working their way down. The children discovered that they could fit more letters on an iPad and even words by changing the line size of the color they choose to write with. This is an example of what an iPad can do to help support early literacy skills. The children LOVE to practice letter and number formation because they get to interact with their idea, share it, practice again and get feedback from others. I have noticed that all children want to participate in activities involving the iPad. What a great way for all children to shine and be seen in an equal way as their peers, taking risks and building confidence!
In the photograph below you see a child during a life studies/science time using an iPad as a way to document a discovery of living creatures he discovered during a 4 Winds time. The child understands one of the many purposes of an iPad. It can capture my discovery and I can share it! The child also understood how to use this tool in a safe and responsible way. A great example of how an iPad can help us with our learning.
As an educator I find myself trying to create and design meaningful learning opportunities for and along with the children I work with. Technological tools are amazing and their impact on student learning and engagement are endless. For me the iPads have enhanced everything that I do. I can’t help but love them!