Saturday, 28 February 2015

1:1 iPads - Week 1, the story so far

So last week I wrote my first blog post around my expectations for introducing 1:1 iPads into my classroom. I was very excited and if the first week was anything to go by, I was right to be excited. 

We spent the first morning, getting the children used to the work flow of the iPads; screenshots, email accounts, edmodo, google docs and much more. 

My first surprise cam when some children who had only used Samsung Galaxy Tabs at home become a little stuck using the iOs software.  One thing to note for the future, check what experience of hardware the children have at home.

Our wi-fi seems to be holding up to the task, although we are only on 14mb download from Cheshire, so we may need to invest in BT fibre Optic in the very near future - not a huge issue though, all the apps we needed were already downloaded.

Teaching the children to use Evernote was a good experience as they had never experienced that sort of organisation before. They have been using it to take photographs and store notes on maths problems and to write they first blog post about the iPads - more about that later.

Our first Multi-App project

On the first day I wanted to show the children how they can combine lots of apps to produce a final piece of work. The image is from Visual Poet, the photographs are from SnapSeed and the language generated was mind mapped using Poppet.  A really interesting afternoon.

The children loved taking the images and using various filters and the using the photographs to inspire the writing about 'A Windy Day.'  A simple, but very effective project using multi-apps and demonstrating the power of the iPad

Book Creator: Jackson Pollock

We visited The Tate Gallery in Liverpool before half term and studied various painting and sculptures, but the one that they remembered the most about was Summertime 9A by Jackson Pollock. 

I asked the children to use their notes, sketches and feelings that they had collected in their sketchbooks on their visit to produce an iBook using Book Creator.

This has to be one of my favourite apps on the iPad and also inspired by this post from ADE Ian Wilson - The Importance of The Blank Canvas

We started by researching the paintings, his life and even create our own impressions using a free art app called Draw. The children combined all their findings into one book and then published them onto Edmodo for others to download and share. 

What was interesting, was that some children chose to use Pic Collage instead of Book Creator. I was very pleased some children chose to do this as this was one of the reasons I started this research project - I want children to have a choice.

This choice leads to unique pieces of work and more excitement in the classroom. Children are expressing themselves in a way that they want to. Some even used Visual Poet to write a poem about their thoughts and feelings towards the painting.

A big step forward for the children. 


At the end of last term I wrote about the children using Vittle to create short mathematic calculation videos for assessment purposes. I was amazed when I say a few children creating these videos during a maths session this week to help others in the classroom - how powerful is that!  

The children were actually modelling their work and then able to pause and rewind the method to help themselves. Even better, they now have that video forever! When we come back to investigating fractions they will have that video from that lesson.

During that session some children found an interactive fraction wall to help them when finding out which fraction was bigger (e.g. which is bigger 4/7 or 8/10?)  This is the website they used - Fraction Wall

The Children's Reflection

At the end of the week I asked the children to reflect on their first week by posting on a short paragraph and screen shots of their work. I want the children to do this each to help document the impact of the project over the next few months. I'm thinking this will be a huge piece of evidence.

Next week, I want to see how the children use the iPads when they are not instructed to do so.  Some children have been using the 'define' button when reading to help them understand a piece of text and some have been using the online dictionaries and thesaurus to improve their writing.

I'll write some more reflections next week.

Both my books are on sale on Amazon Kindle, Google Books and Kobo for digital download. 

Amazon - Pause, Rewind My Teacher: A Flipped Approach to Learning

Amazon - Technology is a tool to be used not an outcome

The books detail all my work to date around flipped classrooms primary schools.  

Sunday, 22 February 2015

1:1 iPad - So the story begins...

So, they've arrived. I'm excited, the kids can hardly contain themselves and we're kicking off our 1:1 iPad adventure this week at school.  I've been planning and waiting for this for so long and now the time is ready - we're ready to go.  The children will be getting an iPad Mini, each with a host of creative apps and exciting opportunities.  

The children will be working with me on Tuesday to start putting in ground rules about using the device, but ultimately we're going to be learning as we go.

There are plenty of example schools using 1:1 iPads, ChromeBooks etc, but I want this to be suited to our school - it really needs to be personalised.  What we want out of them will differ greatly from what other schools want out of them.  There won't be a right or wrong way to do this and the outcome will greatly influence how we proceed with the rest of school.

My classroom with be the research for this project for the next term and a half. We will then work out how the iPad use will be transferred into the next class. I'm confident that the children will be making the most use out of the iPads in my Year 4 class and we'll need to ensure they keep that level of use in Year 5 and beyond. How will they cope at high school, if they don't have a 1:1 iPad scheme?

I have every confidence that the children will continue to use the technology themselves, but it'll be interesting to see how the adults in the classroom adapt their style of teaching and if the reluctant children, who would not choose to use an iPad, adapt.  

Should they need adapt?  I always find it interesting to talk about pedagogy when thinking about embedding technology into classrooms. It's only a tool for learning after all.

The iPadagogy Wheel is something I've tweeted about many times and something that will drive my approach to using this new technology in my classroom.

I'll be using Edmodo as a hub for sharing and storing information, pages, keynote, iMovie, GarageBand and a host of other creative apps to produce some quality outcomes.

I really want the children's app input into the whole project. Apps they already use at home, apps they would like to try and really progress from there.

I'll be blogging about the whole process and learning from mistake after mistake and sharing successes with shorter blog posts.

So, stay tuned and wish us all luck!

What have I been up to and what's next for me?

Both my books are on sale on Amazon Kindle, Google Books and Kobo for digital download. 

Amazon - Pause, Rewind My Teacher: A Flipped Approach to Learning

Amazon - Technology is a tool to be used not an outcome

The books detail all my work to date around flipped classrooms primary schools.  

My article has been published in this months issue of Teach Primary I've written about flipping Art and English lessons in Primary Schools.  I'm also writing another article for Teach Primary about using Edmodo in your classroom.

I've also just finished writing an article for Tech and Learning UK - a new education magazine for schools. I've written about the introduction of Computer Science in the new curriculum and how it has begun to impact on Primary schools.

I presented at The BETT show 2015.  I presented Pause, Rewind My Teacher: Primary Flipped Learning. 
Download it - here
I've also been invited to present at The Digital Education Show in London on Tuesday 30th June alongside some great names like Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra and many others - Find out more.

I'm also presenting at OSPedagogy in Manchester on Friday 13th March. You can find out more about this -

Keep following on Twitter @chriswaterworth