Celia from the iPad Learning LAB wrote the following post about the different learning applications of the iTouch/iPad's. These cover the 3 main types of Apps that you will use across this tech.
Productivity Applications - Those that we use to get tasks completed such as Evernote.
Utility Applications - The simple Apps that bring knowledge to our fingertips such as weather Apps or complete a simple task.
Immersive Applications - These are the Apps the include games or Apps where the learner is fully immersed in the task.
It's been interesting to see the kids use a range of these Apps over the last few weeks with a definite lean towards the Immersive Apps.
I think the big question for me here would be if the iPad belonged to a student...
What kind of Apps would a student select to have on their iPad?
The iPad at the moment is set up with a large range of mainly free Apps that I think would be of benefit to the students in the class. This definitely is a selection of Apps from across these three sectors. But the problem with that is that I am the one with the idea of what exactly is sitting on the iPad and what they would be good for (from a teachers persepective). Meaning that the students aren't actively seeking to engage in using Apps for certain tasks as their own knowledge of the Apps and what each one can do isn't there as it could be if they were the ones selecting the Apps.
Many schools seem to select Apps for their iTouches so that the students can't change the Apps. I see benefits for this but also negatives to this. I am beginning to think that if the students select Apps from the beginning they have a better understanding of what each App is and how they would utilise it in the classroom.
I can see that if you had a set number of Apps you could work with this as a group and set students up working on tasks across these also - with teaching. But my main aim would be to see that students fully understand what Apps they can use to be of benefit or support their learning in the classroom without much or any prompting from the teacher. For example knowing that they can use Evernote to record notes or web clippings but then head into the Animoto App to create a photo slideshow through to using Draw to complete visual art tasks. Not un-similar from how we would expect students to know to choose Pages if they need to type a piece of writing rather than using Kid Pix.
Of course there may need to be a range of teaching and 'suggesting' for Apps that would be a good place to start or more ideal for certain tasks/curriculum areas, but what would the students choose for themselves and their learning style?
Maybe a next step is to sit down with some kids and show them the App store and look at how and why they would select certain Apps for their iPad.