On Wednesday we hosted an English teacher and science teacher from a local grade school which intends to go 1:1 iPad in the upper grades next year. I set up three classroom visits for each visitor. I decided that for fun I would pop in and observe some of the iPad action as well. So you could say that I shadowed the shadowers.
|In Ms. Riley’s biology class the students reviewed for a test by going to lab stations. They used iAnnotate PDF to write notes on their digital worksheets. They also accessed their iBooks for information.|
|Ms. Harris-Schultheis’s class had recently visited the Holocaust Memorial Center. When I stopped by the girls were listening to a Camp Survivor anthem accompanied by visuals. The students accessed the lyrics on their iPads through Schoology.|
|In Ms. McGavin’s anatomy class I observed juniors using the iPad and seniors using the HP Tablet. The students used their devices to access diagrams, highlight key items and take notes about the human jaw. As you can see in the foreground a student is holding a skull. Ms. McGavin was also projecting the images and notes through her Apple TV. So the students had many different ways to access and add to the information.
Ms. Hallie Smith’s ninth grade English class was also studying the Holocaust. Via an Apple TV they watched a YouTube of Hitler giving a speech, and then discussed it after looking up additional information using the Safari browsers of their iPads.
Observations from the Visiting Shadowers
At the subsequent debrief my new friends shared a number of impressions. They noted that each classroom teacher had used the iPad differently, but all provided students with digital resources that were at their fingertips. They were impressed by how so many assignments and assessments were paperless. The shadows also noted that grading seemed easier with the iPad, particularly with the tight integration that exists between Schoology and Power School. They heard about interesting instructional uses of the camera and other apps like Socrative and Explain Everything. They were also impressed by how adept the students were at moving from app to app and from screen to screen. They also noted that when students were assigned to groups they automatically created collaborative documents as a first step.