Students at Tauranga Primary School used iPads to consolidate their knowledge base, and reinforce learning intentions.
"Our school regularly reviews the way technology is embedded in effective learning and teaching."
This snapshot describes how iPads can be used in junior numeracy and literacy programmes, and offers practical suggestions on how to manage this technology in classrooms.
A major priority for Tauranga Primary School was to create 21st century learning environments as part of their future focused strategic direction. Teachers blended traditional teaching practices with digital technologies to meet the needs of their students.
A class of year two students were selected to trial five iPads in their classroom. A class of senior students at the school also took part in the trial. This enabled the school to explore how different year levels could use iPads as teaching and learning tools.
Why were iPads chosen?
- To cater for student needs – iPads cater for a variety of learning styles and create interactive classrooms.
- To engage students – iPads provide an engaging learning environment that can hook in reluctant learners.
- Cost effective – iPads are considerably cheaper than desktop or laptop computers but still provide excellent learning opportunities.
- Portable – Students can move around the classroom with an iPad and find a work setting that is beneficial for them and others.
- Touch technology – The large multi-touch iPad screen lets students use their fingertips which is beneficial for younger children.
Students used the iPads daily, particularly during numeracy and literacy sessions.
Students used iPads during reading time to work on focus areas such as reading fluency, comprehension, handwriting letter formation, and grammar. A task board outlined the apps they needed to work on. This promoted self-management and allowed the teacher to fully focus on her guided reading group.
The iPad activity that had the greatest impact on achievement involved students using the inbuilt camera to record themselves reading out loud and watching it back. They self-assessed their reading to identify future goals. This activity led to increased fluency and expression.
Favourite reading apps include:
iPads were used to publish work in a fun and visually appealing way. An example of this came about when the students wrote a report in their books about the ship Rena hitting Astrolabe Reef at Mount Maunganui, and then used the iPads to publish their work. They used the app, Puppet pals – Director's Pass .
Spend a few weeks at the beginning of term demonstrating how to use the apps. This is crucial for focused work that will enhance learning outcomes.
The management of iPads needs to be well structured and organised. Task boards can be used to direct the students. Rules for using the iPads are helpful.
Join the Virtual Learning Network (VLN) and participate in these discussions.
BYOD in Schools
– a community group with discussions and a collection of interesting readings from NZ educators.
Managing BYOD at Albany
BYOD: How to use mobile technologies effectively – featuring Dorothy Burt, Mark Quigley, and Donna Smith sharing their vision, process and progress, benefits and challenges for BYOD in their schools.
Find out more about the software types used in this snapshot.