Monday, May 28, 2012

Unexpected Things I've Learned from Using Screen Chomp and Show Me

Lately I/we (Ms. Will, my UBC teacher candiate and I)  have been using the apps ScreenChomp and ShowMe a lot more often.  While I only have one class iPad she and I have had access to a few more iPads because our district loaner set is in the school.  If you're not familiar with these two apps they are both FREE interactive white board apps.  What this means is that they allow students to draw and record their voices and create a little video playing back these two actions.  My students have used these apps to draw and tell math number stories, and to retell the life cycle of a frog.  Nothing too inspiring yet but a start.

As I've been uploading these student creations to our class blog I am noticing a few things about these apps that I never really thought about when I first added them to my class iPad.  Here are a few of them.

Seeing My Students' Personalities Away From My Watchful Eye

I  only have one iPad in my classroom at the moment, so when we do special projects like documenting our learning using an iPad app, we do it with a partner or two.  As I listen back to the creations my students have made I see a different side of them.  As they draw and record they are interacting with one another away from me.  And while I have a general view of what they are doing, I really have no idea what they are saying until I upload their creations. I have to admit  I love the innocence of their conversations, away from the teacher's ear.  I love the negotiations I hear between one another.  I love seeing who leads the conversation, and how they solve disagreements.  I love that I can see how they genuinely speak to one another, and not because I am encouraging them to be supportive or kind, but because they are supportive and kind.  I love this little secret window into their interactions.

Seeing What They Are Capable of Doing When Given Freedom to Create

I love how open ended these apps are and how each group of students have interpreted the directions in a way that works for them. If you look at their creations some have drawn then talked about their drawings, some of recorded as they drew, and others just created number sentences without actually drawing.  It so clearly reminds me that my students are all different and they learn and succeed in different ways.

Seeing How My Students Form Their Letters and Numbers

It was quite interesting for me to review some my students number stories and see that many of the are writing their numbers (and letters) incorrectly. While I don't spend a whole bunch of time working through a "printing" book, we have talked about how letters and numbers are formed.  I was a bit surprised to see so many of my students writing their letters and numbers incorrectly.  It was a good reminder to me to make sure we once again review how to make properly formed letters and numbers.

What have unexpected things have you noticed about using creative/open ended apps?

1 comment:

  1. I have just started dabbling with Show Me and, thanks to your post, have just downloaded Screen Chomp. Thanks for sharing.