Saturday, 2 March 2013

iPad - a great tool!

I have just finished an education about digital tools - Lin Education. Maybe any of you have done it to?
 Lidköping invests a lot in digital tools and education about it. In one year we have moved from 5 iPads per class to one iPad per two pupils, and the sixth grade have one iPad per pupil.
The education has been great and twisted our thoughts many times. The digital journey went from using it for documentation with the camera, pic collage (an app) and playing apps for math and Swedish to use it for formative assessment, finding information, writing, and much more. I use the iPads every day and in almost every lesson in some way. The kids love it and I see how motivated the pupils are. Last week we were talking during the lunch about what they should do under the lunchbreak, they wanted to look for spring-signs, and asked me: - Can we use the iPads and document what we find?

During the Lin education examination we had 20 minutes to show our journey, where we are today and what our goal is. I was nervous about how we should fill the 20 minutes, but after it felt like I could have talked for an hour about things we do and what we have learned. One important thing we have found out is that there is no goal, if we have a goal then what comes after?

So what do I do with iPads in the classroom (during the english class)?
- They practice english with apps (games).
- They write things on paper - practice and then record when they are speaking english with sock puppets (an app with different socks, backgrounds, voices) and they send it to me.
- They also write and record at the same time with Explain everything.
- They are filming each other (or just the paper) when they are telling things.
- Right now they are making dolls and they are going to have a fashion show with the dolls telling the clothes and filming with they're iPads.
- I have also read a homework and recorded it with the iPad. I put it on our digital platform where they could find it at home and practice their homework.
- With my iPad I also take pictures of books we use and show it on the projector so they all can follow and see were I'm pointing and so on.

There is so much to do, but this is pretty much what I have done so far. I feel like I can see much easier where each pupil is, what they need to practice more and it's easier to assess them. Without the iPad I would have a hard time to hear each pupil and assess it.

/Anna Törnberg


  1. How exciting to read about your new experiences with Ipads. We are just about to start using them and have had an introduction and demonstration of different applications and uses. Right now we are educating ourselves and it feels like there are no limits to what you can do. Personally, I feel that I have to be sure of how to use the different apps and find the right activities to begin with before I start using it in class for real.I have tried some activities already with good results so I'm close now. I can see many advantages when iPad "runs itself" that the students are so used to handle this kind of technology that they can work by themselves and release me so that I can work with other students in the meantime, half class or individual review. To even use it for assessment and documentation that you describe is a continuing challenge. We are only at the start yet but it feels like this is the future of tools where I as a teacher must be in order to to keep up with students in dealing with it.
    Keep up the good work,

  2. It was interesting to read your blog. At my school we have a lot of computers, not one to one, but if we book them for a lesson each pupil can have their own computer. We have about two computers in every classroom. Now we have started to discuss if we will buy some iPads to each classroom. We have some iPads in the preschool. I have one ipad myself and I really like it. I can see how good it would be if we have some ipads in each classroom. You gave me a lot of different suggestion how to use it. I like the easy way to record when the pupils speak. Today I think it is difficult to make it work easy. I have heard that we have to pay some subscription for each ipad every month if we use it in school. Do you know anything about this?
    Thanks Anette

  3. I am so glad that you wrote about Ipads. My school is thinking about investing in 2-1 Ipads (when and if our municipality gets the economy together ;)) I got really inspired reading your blog-post. You describe a lot of different things that you, as a teacher, can use an Ipad for and you also mention that your pupils are very interested and engaged in their work. My question is do you use 2-1 when assess your pupils? Do you use friend-assessment? Do your pupils always work in pair, and is it always the same pair? I think the benefits of using friend-assessment is that the pupils gets a chance to argue for their case as well as helping each other out with difficult tasks.
    Good luck in the future!

  4. Thank you for your comments on my blogpost. You had interesting questions and I will try to answer them.
    First of all I want to say that the students will probably always learn quick if not even faster than us. In my school the teachers got the iPads before the summer. We where urged to use the iPads as much as possible, for email, facebook, looking for recipes or anything we felt like. This is what our principal wanted so we would feel comfortable using the iPad. During the summer I downloaded many apps and tried them out. There are so many tips on the internet too, on "ipads i skola och förskola" on facebook for example. We also share a lot on our platform in our municipality. After the summer we got five iPads/class and now 2-1 except the sixth grade (1-1) and also my class. I usually try a new app a couple of times and then I let the children try it with different tasks. But after a couple of times they know more than I do...

    We pay an amount every year but I think it is not that much. I think it is even cheaper than what we pay for our computers! And they are so easy to use both in planned and "pop-up" lessons.

    In some tasks they are working in pairs (I have specific iPad pairs they always work in) and in some tasks they are working on their own. Sometimes they are filming things and practice speaking, then they help each other if they are not sure, so it is much more thinking about speaking and listening than in other situations I guess.I have not used friend assessment with iPads yet, but that I have to do (thanks for that thougth). I assess my pupils both working in pairs and by themselves. I hear pretty good when they are helping out too.

    Good luck with your work with iPads!

  5. The pupils in my class will have an I-pad on their own in a few months. Therefore I thought it was very interesting to read how you are using I-pads in the classroom together with your pupils.

    In my school will all pupils from the 4th grade to the 6th grade have an I-pad. Today we have only one I-pad per class so it will be much easier to film for example.

    However, today we are using the I-pad when we are filming the pupils play acting. Sometimes they are acting themselves and sometimes they are acting with hand puppets. I think the I-pads are so easy to use both for me and the pupils, much easier than a camera.

    I agree with you when you say that the pupils will learn faster than us. The pupils in my class love digital tools. Sometimes when I have downloaded new applications the pupils have found them and learnt how to use them by there own. I do not think we teacher always have to learn the pupils how to use the application.

    There are so many applications and it is difficult to know which ones are good. I usually read reviews on How do you decide which applications you will buy?

    Thank you for sharing your work with I-pads with us.