I'm in love... in love with my i-pad! AND... I'm lucky enough to have a set of i-pads in my classroom and I have to say they've transformed the way I teach and how my classroom operates... we've hardly used a textbook since we got them! The i-pads are a powerful tool and means students literally have the world at their fingertips!
Here are some of my favorite things about having i-pads in my science classroom.
- Because of their portability, there's much, much more collaboration and sharing between students. I love nothing more than seeing students showing each other what they're learning.
- Because we're in our classroom using them, we're closer together physically then we would be in the computer lab. Students can work together in small groups and easily discuss ideas and still have room to write something down / create a project / type something out etc. It's also much easier for me to keep an eye on what they're up to and monitor their use. (Although I have to say the kids have been awesome about staying on-task!)
- Kids can work at their own pace - they can flip through a video and pause and play it as they need to. Or work through an activity / app at their own pace rather than watching me do it on a projector.
- The apps are amazing!! Where else can students zoom in on the surface of Mars? or the Moon? Interact with molecules and see them from all angles? Build and create 3-D models? Make a video? Watch a video? Take a photo of something related to our subject and then write about it? Research just about anything their minds can think of?
- Science is so visual - what better way to learn about glaciers than to take a virtual cruise up Glacier Bay? We "virtually visited" a local glacier on Google Earth and students were able to zoom in and out how and when they want to? My students didn't even know there were glaciers practically in their backyard and were blown away by what was on the other side of the local mountains! And... they can see how glaciers have changed the landscape... locally! My students were so engaged as they virtually zoomed around our area looking for evidence of glaciation that glaciers suddenly became relevant and no longer just big chunks of ice that they had to learn about just because it's part of the curriculum.
- i-pads are just plain FUN!! The novelty hasn't worn off yet! My students LOVE to use them and we are all constantly amazed at what we have access to and what we can do with them. Because they're enjoying the i-pads and what we're able to do with them, the students have shown great respect in how they use and handle them... I've had no issues with misuse (yet!).
Stay tuned for more blog posts ahead with my favorite apps, tips for setting up i-pads in your own classroom and more of the pros (and some cons) of having them.
Have you got access to i-pads in your classroom? What do you think?