Kate Friedwald, teacher at Wairakei School, describes how students in her classroom use iPads to engage in independent, self-directed learning. Benefits include: students being able to work collaboratively using Google Docs, set and review goals, receive feedback from home and school, and engage in "just in time" learning.
The learners in Room 1 are independent, self-directed learners, which means they use their iPads, look up what they need to learn for the day, timetable their own learning, and approach who they need to approach for the help.
So the beauty of being a Google Apps for Education school is most of the writing’s done in Google Docs. That allows myself to comment on the students' work, give them feedback, give them feedforward.
They also share the documents with each other if they wish, or if I’ve asked them to, so they are receiving that.
They are getting a lot more feedback and feedforward from parents because a lot more work is being shared at home.
When I meet with each group we go through the success criteria that was set as a group and work out have they met those needs, the goals, and what they could do to continue to work on them.
So a recrafting group might share a Google doc to work on that together, and I know that because they’ve got their iPads they can always access that information.
It also means today for instance I’ve got a group doing a sentence structure activity that can be emailed out to them. I don’t need to print it off. I don’t need to work out how far they’ll get. I can send them all the information.
We’ve got kids that didn’t like writing on pen and paper and now are more enthusiastic, more motivated to write.
There’s the barriers of actually having the equipment, the technology, the resources available when you need them. Now that’s become less of a barrier because they’ve all got the device there, it can be used. A lot of just in time learning, they can grab the device when they need it, not when I can book it.