Friday, May 7, 2010

iPad - Student Reflections

Yesterday as groups and as a class we had conversations about the iPad. Students had a chance to reflect in small or large groups on what it was they they liked and disliked about the iPad. I was really interested to see if my initial thoughts and ideas about what the students might dislike about the iPad bothered them or if they were of no concern to them (such as the flat screen typing).

Over the course of the week it's been interesting to see what have been the Apps the students have most enjoyed and been using. So I also asked them about their favourite Apps from the week so far and why it is that they enjoyed them. We used inspiration to record our ideas so the images are just screen shots from our conversationg

The following are their ideas after 1 week using the iPad...

What did you like about the iPad?

The students were actually really thoughtful about some of the reasons that they enjoyed the iPad. The "shine" factor is starting to come off the iPad and they are starting to think about how it can be used in the classroom for more than something to play on.

The students are extremely keen on being able to use the iPad.

What do you dislike about the iPad?

The students once again had some very logical things to say about the iPad and the parts of it that they disliked.

The biggest concern that came up from the students was the sound. The majority of the students really enjoyed having the sound but found this difficult to have it at the volume they wanted in class. With more iPads in the classroom this wouldn't become such an issue. But the interesting thing about this is that the class quickly came up with some ideas of how this wouldn't be a problem anymore.

The distraction of the iPad in the class also seemed to be a concept that the students all agreed on. Even when they were on the computer etc they found that if the iPad was near them they would get distracted by what was happening on it. It will be interesting to see as the next 2 weeks happen if this starts to become less of a problem for the students.

The last thing that the students seemed to agree on was that they found the orientation of the iPad a bit tricky to get to grips with at first. By this they meant that sometimes they would hold it portrait way and the screen would flick to landscape and vice versa. They seem to think that this will get better the more they use it and understand how it works.

What Apps did you enjoy the most?

This is a list of the Apps that were the most popular on the iPad for the students. By far the 2 biggest App types that students enjoyed on the iPad were gaming and drawing Apps.

We began the conversation sharing all the Apps. As they started to list them I told them that I had made a guess as to why they enjoyed these games. It seemed I was pretty spot on with my ideas.

The students were really quick to share why they enjoyed these games and it kept coming back to the principles of gaming and SiSoMo - the Sight, Sound and Motion that happen within the App. The other interesting concept that they said hooked them into an App was the use of strategy and levels. They enjoyed being challenged and pushed to a new level, where the idea of gaming comes in.

It was a great conversation, I really think the students are working towards moving away from it being a 'fun' thing to do to looking at how they could use it in the classroom. I have some big ideas for what I want to do next!

Next steps:
* Organise the Apps on the screens so they are easy for the students to access the right App for the right task e.g. Sound recording Apps, Writing Apps etc.
* Investigate more Apps and to source Apps that are the best for the learning area.
* Investigate more Apps that allow the gaming aspect to be integrated into quality learning.
* Continue having the students use it in each of the curriculum areas.
* Develop more areas for the collaboration to occur e.g. utilising collaborative tools like scribblar etc where the students can write/brainstorm/share ideas.


Kelly Faulkner said...

it has been interesting reading your reflections on your ipad - did you purchase it yourself? i was in CA when they went on sale and thought about it, but the $US500 - 800 price tag was too steep for me.

i work with secondary students, and thus far they are unimpressed with the ipad: ït's an itouch for old people" (sorry, my quote sign doesn't work well) is the general consensus with them.

it will be interesting to see how utilised they will be, though, again, from a high school perspective, it'll be yet another advance for primary schools that the kids won't have an opportunity to use in secondary.

i hope you and your kids enjoy it - perhaps that generation will be the one that makes the push for better tech in high schools!

Miss Signal said...

Thanks for you comment Kelly. Was an interesting read. My kids haven't mentioned any dislike for the iPad other than they think it could be expensive to put into classrooms. The iPad seems to be one of those things that everyone has an opinion on at the moment - its a hot topic! There are many articles and posts from people who have ideas about how it will work. I am really seeing that the more you play with it the more you can weigh up all aspects (positives and negatives) of it in the classroom. But the real signs of it's success is in the students.

My calss are quite a tech saavy class who really enjoy using technology. They are almost over the shine factor of it and are learning to do everyday tasks on the iPad. It's still hard with 1 between 23 students - but they are EXTREMELY grateful that they have been given the opportunity. It is a school trial, not my individual iPad.

Fingers crossed that this could be a shift towards the change of tech further up the year levels as well!

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