by Aaron Hovel
The iPad initiative has gotten off to a great start. Already students are able learn in ways that weren’t possible before. In the first few weeks, students have been learning how to use and organize their iPads for learning. In Mr. Lynch’s history classes, students are taking class and homework notes on their iPads, and supplementing the notes with images, maps, and editorial cartoons from the Internet. Students then draw on the maps and annotate the images to extend their grasp of the issues. In Mrs. Devries’s class, 6th grade students are learning active reading skills. As Mrs. Devries models active reading, students can take a picture of what good active reading looks like to use as a rubric for future assignments. In math class, students are doing their daily homework on the iPad and turning it in digitally. This increases instructional time by eliminating the time taken to handout and collect assignments and “There are no lost Papers” says Mrs. Waters.
The iPad is also a great tool for training the ear in music. In Mr. Desjardins’s music class, students are learning the chord progression for Pachelbel’s Canon using Garage Band. Students work in groups listening to Pachelbel Canon then, using Garage Band, they match the chords they can play to what they hear in Pachelbel Canon. By the end of class each group has figured out the order of the chords for the piece.
In Mr. Waters’s Current Events elective class, students are using an App called Flipboard to curate their own magazines of current events. Mr. Waters has also created his own Virtual Magazine of relevant current events. As Mr. Waters adds articles to his magazine, students have immediate access to them too, which has led to fascinating conversations.
In Mrs. Morris’s Green Scholar Elective students are creating digital books on a “Green” topic of choice like shark finning, water pollution, or endangered species . These books can then be shared with other students at Pike as well as students around the world.
Audio and Video in the Modern Language eBook brings the learning alive allowing students more practice listening to and speaking the language. Students are also learning to practice their pronunciation of words with the translator app Say Hi. Say Hi allows students to say words in French and see them translated into English. The app does not translate the words correctly unless they are pronounced correctly.
While the iPad have made a big impact on learning and teaching it has also improved our green efforts. Reams of paper have been saved since much of the work is done digitally. Also, cubbies and notebooks are more tidy with less loose paper, and backpacks are lighter too. I look forward to sharing great stories like these throughout the school year.