Wednesday, January 25, 2012

To Practice or to Create - Using Ipad Apps for Learning

I'm certainly no expert at integrating a single iPad into a grade one classroom but I am definitely trying to learn all that I can.  Aside from the reference and book apps when it comes to my students (and their learning) the iPad apps I've chosen to download onto our class iPad tend to fall under two categories - skill practice apps, and open ended creative apps.

Skill practice apps have been really great for my academically low and/or new to Canada, limited English speaking students.  These apps tend to be downloaded with a specific student (or skill) in mind as a way to provide them with extra practice.  They have been great for my students to use on their own, with a friend, or with a peer tutor.  Most of these apps are quite interchangeable because they are really just another form of drill and practice.  While drill and practice apps are necessary(or helpful) in certain situations, these apps have a very limited purpose on my class iPad.

To be perfectly honest I much prefer the open ended, more creative apps as I feel that is where the true power of the iPad is for my students and their learning.  I love seeing my students show me what they know on a medium that works best for them.  So far (I'm still discovering new apps all the time) these apps include the story writing, draw and tell, voice recorder, and art type apps.  These apps put my students at the centre of their learning.  My biggest problem with these amazing apps it that with only one iPad it's difficult to allow all my students to utilize these incredible tools as often as I'd like.

One area that I am yet to tap into is the photo/video aspects of our class iPad.  I know it is a big one, and when I can slow down long enough it is another area I'm eager to dive into.  Thinking about its potential keeps my head spinning. And yes, my head is spinning a lot these days with my exponential learning.

So my question to you is what type of apps have you chosen to download on your class iPad(s)? What type of creative apps can you recommend? I'd love to hear about the apps you love to use for learning.

1 comment:

  1. Check out Tricia Fuglestads art class blog for iPad ideas: