Tuesday, January 8, 2013

iPads in 1st grade?

So we thought of having some more technology integration in the classroom...this time 1st graders were our target.  We wanted to use the technology our district has- more specifically the iPads- but we thought "how can the little ones learn how to use the device?"  many teachers said: "I don't think they will do well, they won't know what to do!"

Despite the doubts Mrs. Barney-Sischo and myself embarked on the journey of teaching her first graders how to use the ipads.  Oh and yes, we were a bit more ambitious - we wanted them to use the iPads to create a presentation that included video.  So we went from seeing the iPad as a recreational tool to a productivity tool.  The  learning unit: Social Studies- "Journey through time" more specifically "Transportation through time"

Students learned everything they needed to know about transportation through time.  The teacher taught the unit as she normally does - lots of books, reading, sharing, realia, etc.  We wanted this lesson to have a meaningful, real life implication.  A parent assembly was scheduled and we wanted the kids to present to their parents and most importantly TEACH other about the changes of transportation through time.

I came in and taught the students the basics of using an iPad and quickly moved on to teaching them how to create a Keynote presentation with it.  I taught them how to use the camera to take pictures and video.  Needless to say they were thrilled and engaged.  All of a sudden the eagerness to create a presentation to TEACH their parents about transportation became the driving motor of this project.

Students created slides, wrote their sentences about transportation for each of the centuries, each in a different slide, took pictures of carriages, trains, planes, cars, boats from the books they read and were able to merge them into their presentations- mind you, they did all this themselves...I was there to guide them because after I taught them how to take the pictures and videos and insert them into their presentations- which they learned immediately- they were on their own.  Some of them explored the different layouts and pinched to zoom or rotate their pictures and text!  They all added transitions to make it a more professional presentation.

As the lesson progressed we saw all of the doubts disappear; after all, these students are digital natives- they were born in this digital era, these things make sense to them and come naturally.  For us, digital immigrants, technology becomes more of an acquired taste.

 Read Mrs. Barney-Sischo's reflection of this project:


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