Apple technologies have transformed my learning environment from a 4-wall classroom to a no wall classroom. Never before, were we able to connect, communicate, collaborate and create on a local, national and global scale with such ease and transparency.
My primary classroom has gone from using large quantities of paper to going virtually paperless. Dropbox accounts on the iPads are used to save work. Students use blogs as digital portfolios. The ease of the Kidblog App has ensured that my students can independently upload videos, text, and pictures to their blogs effortlessly. Apple intuition makes these apps a breeze for my early learners.
My students are no longer “absorbing” the curriculum through the teacher. They are creating and playing with the information we discover together. They are using the iPads to create videos to teach other students how to make patterns, how to read and how to tell time. They are creating interactive books about insects and spiders and “how to books” using video they have taken themselves. They are making their learning visible for the world to see using content creation apps.
When you combine the power of an Apple TV, projector, and the iPad the adaptability of technology is endless. We use the Apple TV, iPad and projector in various combinations to enable different types of activities. My students can now share what they are doing to the entire class with the touch of a button. My students are all physically involved in the learning instead of 20 children watching one child up at an Interactive Whiteboard. As for transforming my teaching, Apple TV has provided a mobile platform from which classroom activities can be initiated. I can now use different apps to display video, and teach lessons from anywhere in my classroom and allow my students to participate from wherever they are seated in a variety of interactive activities.
Apple technologies have allowed my students to be able to connect with students from all over the world. The world is larger than my students had imagined and Apple brings it to the carpet. As well as learning from each other, we are learning from other students and teachers in different cities, provinces and countries. We learned about perspective this past month on Google Hangout by a teacher in British Columbia. When the hurricane hit New York last year, my students wanted to send out a tweet to their Twitter friends in New York to make sure they were okay. My learners have a wealth of information at their fingertips. Students are able to connect with others individually or in small groups using Facetime, Google Hangout and Skype.
We have connected with other classrooms through our classroom blog and the students’ personal blogs. We share our learning and our questions using our classroom Twitter account. We have also participated in a collaborative writing unit. The students wrote their entire rough draft on their blogs and a class from British Columbia provided feedback. We wrote our final drafts using the LittleBirdTales App on the iPads and uploaded the final projects to our blogs.
Just this past month, we created a video using the green screen and iMovie to illustrate our traditions and cultures. Other classes responded to our video and made their own media projects to share with us about their personal traditions and cultures. The best way to experience what learning in 1/2W looks like is to take a look at the following video:
If you are interested in the iPad Expectation posters you saw in the video (my talented husband @mrwideen made them). You can download them here.