Is the iPad the tool we have been waiting for to facilitate 21st Century skills in our classroom?
The jury is still out, but let's explore the ways in which the simplicity and power of the iPad has started to transform teachers and students in school.
Game Design by 5th Graders in North Pole, Alaska
Aliens by Devin and Tucker
The Four C's:
Students become Content Creators
when they have the tools and the opportunity.
Game creation, from the ground up, is an exercise in critical thinking. The two boys from North Pole, Alaska, have thought through what makes a game work, how to create challenges, and solved the problems of programming along the way. In addition, they have collaborated, and created, both artistically and conceptually.
Children of all ages discover the ability to tell stories through animation using stop motion apps, such as iStopMotion. The opportunity to create and edit is enhanced by this simple, straightforward app. The experience also gives students a chance to interact with the concepts behind animation and take charge of the process.
Our Kindergarten created a book about how to do the classroom "jobs". The students took photos of the elements of the job, placed them on the pages of Book Creator, then recorded a set of audio instructions. Books Creator projects can be added to the iBooks books for classroom libraries and shared with parents via email or iTunes. More on Book Creator can be found on our blog.
Students can create digital portfolios as they accumulate projects and presentations. At the Flint Hill School in Oakton, VA, the iPads are incorporated in the student assessment process. Students curate their own digital portfolio and present their work at a student-parent-teacher conference. They use the cameras to photograph geometry or number pictures around school, then create their own shapes or number books, which are illustrated, captioned, and designed to share. They create fraction books in which they create the fraction pictures and write the problems, and they illustrate and notate books in Spanish to demonstrate understanding in a second language.
Students will take initiative to tell their stories, invent games, and learn to present their accomplishments with style if given the tools and encouragement to do it.