Tag Archives: iPads

An Observation

Each morning, my seventh graders begin their day with at least ten minutes of writing in their journals. We’ve been using those black-and-white composition notebooks as our journals this year. Enter the iPad. Yesterday they asked if they could start writing their journals on the iPad. I was actually a bit hesitant to say “yes.” I know it’s old-fashioned, but I love the idea of being able to look back through a journal, flipping the pages and seeing all of that wonderful writing. But I told my students I’d let them decide for themselves.

All but one or two flipped open their iPads and began typing.

Now, normally when students write in their journals I’ll see some who get right to it. They’re happy to be writing and will often have half a page filled within a few minutes. I’ll see some who take a few minutes to get started and they’ll wind up only writing three or four sentences. And then there are those who will stare off into space and need prompting from the teacher to get writing.

This was not the case yesterday. As soon as they flipped open their iPads everyone started writing…and didn’t stop until I asked them to. And that was only after 30 minutes! We usually only write for ten minutes, as I said earlier. But I just wanted to see what would happen if I let them go. Thirty minutes! And as I walked around the room I noticed that everyone had written at least one long paragraph (and in seventh grade a paragraph needs to be six to eight sentences long).

I was thrilled! But it’s also important for students to see the difference in their writing, so I asked them for a show of hands. “How many people felt they wrote a lot more using the iPad?” Almost every hand went up into the air. “And why do you think that is?” Answers to this second question ranged from “It’s new and exciting to use the iPad,” to “It’s so much easier to write everything down quickly when you’re typing.”

I love it!

One of my goals for my seventh graders this year is to work really hard on writing. The iPad is going to be a tremendous help in achieving that goal!

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iPad Day!

Our classroom was abuzz with excitement yesterday morning as my seventh graders each received their school iPad. I’m not sure my students believed me when I said that I was even more excited than they were, but it’s true! I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I can’t wait to see what my students discover they can do with this new tool.

We were hampered a bit yesterday with connection issues; the internet was down for several hours. So if anyone wasn’t able to get some apps set up last night, we’ll take care of it today. 

We’ll be using Edmodo quite a bit this year, so I thought I’d share a little bit about the site. Edmodo is a learning management system (LMS) that allows teachers to create a classroom community. We can have conversations online about what we’re learning; students can post questions about assignments or direct message the teacher (they cannot direct message anyone else, just me); I can post assignments and grade them right in Edmodo.

One thing I’m excited about this year is being able to quickly gather information from students via Edmodo and the iPad. For example, let’s say I’ve just given a lesson on word choice in writing. I can post an assignment in Edmodo and, before they leave the classroom, students can quickly write a sentence or two demonstrating what they’ve learned (it’s called an exit ticket). At the end of the day I can quickly go down the list of sentences and see who got it and who needs a little more help. 

How cool is that!

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Google Drive iPad Portfolio

 

Are you ready to use iPads for school this year? I know I am! If you’d like to get yourself ready to jump right in, you might want to watch this video on using the Google Drive app. It’s an excellent explanation of how to navigate around the app and will help you to be ready to start using Google Docs right away.

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July 21, 2013 · 6:52 pm