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 were involved in meeting the needs of their students by blending the very best of traditional teaching practices with the huge potential of ICT.
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 to enable the school to explore how different year levels could utilise iPads as teaching and learning tools.
Why were iPads chosen?
- To cater for student needs – iPads address 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 that 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 maths applications to consolidate their knowledge base. They adjusted the settings depending on their ability. Favourite maths apps include:
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 the 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 using the app Puppet pals – Director's Pass .
Handwriting apps on the iPads helped students to practise correct formation of letters. Spelling apps were used to develop knowledge of spelling conventions. Favourite handwriting and spelling apps included BlobbleWrite and Word Magic .
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Find out more about the software types used in this snapshot.