I came across this wiki on my travels today. I’ll admit, it’s not very interesting visually but it’s passed with some great resources regarding using iPads in schools. It even has some useful links to implementation plans and a categorised section for apps used in different stages of schooling. Check it out when you get a chance.
iLearn uLearn is an program that promotes an open learning community. We are all learners @ SAM and we believe in students sharing their skills to enhance our learning community.
The iLearn uLearn program offers students the opportunity to share their knowledge with teachers and students by planning and delivering their own ICT workshops. Students will identify an Apple application that they are knowledgable with. This may be iMovie, Garageband, iWeb, Keynote, iPhoto, iTunes etc. The workshop may also focus on an application for Mac or iPad.
Students plan and deliver a 30 minute workshop where they demonstrate and teach others how to use an aspect of that software. All workshops must provide demonstrations and lots of hands on opportunities for the attendants.
The students are assisted in their planning and presentation skills by two members, of staff working as program coordinators. This is to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their audience.
The workshops are advertised around the school, including in the staffroom. All promotion will be carried out by the students. Students design all of their own marketing material that will be placed around the school and promoted on the school website. Students also write lunch announcement reminders and promote the program during a school assembly.
So far, the students have successfully delivered 2 workshops that attracted a large number of both teachers and students. It has really caused a buzz around our school and the students involved n the program are eagerly developing new workshops for our learning community.
This year I have been fortunate enough to be working side by side with another grade 4 teacher who shares some of my enthusiasm for trialling new approaches to delivering an engaging curriculum. The management of my school have been very supportive and encouraging of our desire to establish a team teaching approach by combining both our classes. Our deputy principal has enabled us to combine our classes by merging our timetables so that all of our students are at specialist classes at the same time. This has allowed for the maximum amount of face to face time with our students while providing more planning time for both teachers.
So far we have found that:
a) Our students are more engaged and are following direction with greater ease.
b) Our students are motivated.
c) Teachers are able to address any issues directly as they arise instead of trying to find a suitable time afterwards.
d) Students have a larger range of peers to collaborate with.
e) Teachers have far greater flexibility that assists in planning for individual targeted outcomes
One of the other major advantages that we have found so far is that our current situation allows for far more planning time and therefore allows the teachers to engage in new and exciting areas of curriculum delivery that enhance teaching and learning. One of these areas is the concept of a Flipped Classroom. This is an area that will feature in a later blog.
As we are approaching the end of Term 1, we are beginning to reflect upon what has been a very successful first term. The students have not only settled well into a new and dynamic learning environment, they have shown amazing flexibility and adaptability. These are two personality traits that we believe are essential for the modern learner in today’s society.