A co-worker and I attended an iPad conference yesterday. My co-worker called it “iPad School.” I like that term, so I adopted it. There was so much information to soak up! My biggest take away was a greater understanding of all of the ways we can take the ipad to the next level, and use it to create, not just play games. My favorite part of the conference was at the end of the day, when after introducing us to all sorts of student oriented creating apps, the conference leader set us free to spend some time building our own presentation on the ipad. We were able to create our product, and then look at the products that our classmates had created.
I was excited to have the opportunity to experiment with Educreations.
I’d read about it and considered it for the journaling we’ve done, but never quite been able to appreciate how it could be used with preschoolers. Learning about the capacity it has to make audio recordings really added to its value and my wheels started turning. We usually handwrite the student’s intended message underneath their writing. If they did their journal/play plan with Educreations, then we could teach them to record their own verbal version of what they’d written. I love that their journal would be 100% student created. If it had just a few more colors, and maybe some glitter options like Doodle Buddy, I’d be completely on board! Here’s the goofy video my coworker and I made with Educreations.
The other app that really caught our attention was Toontastic.
We didn’t get to play with it, but we saw what a couple of other teachers were able to create. We loved their product! They created a story with animated characters that danced across the screen. There were also able to add audio to their creation and the end result was adorable. Today when I took a closer look at the app, I decided that it’s probably a little too complex for my pre-k students, but the first grade teacher I was with saw a lot of potential. The app actually outlines a traditional story arc, and guides the student in creating a story that follows that pattern. She’s thinking she may be able to use the app when her class does their fairytale unit.
One of the things that surprised me at the conference was that everyone one I met taught at a private school. I’m sure that wasn’t true across the board, but it makes me think there was probably fairly strong private school representation. I can’t help but wonder if this speaks to the resources that private schools have available to them and that public schools lack, both in terms of continuing education resources, and technology resources.
I really did learn a lot at the conference, but there was one thing that stood out more than anything else: One of my fellow attendees was my brother’s kindergarten teacher, 30 years ago! Talk about going back in time! Kudos to my brother’s teacher for keeping current in her field and remaining on the cutting edge, even after 30+ years of teaching!
I feel really fortunate that I was able to attend this conference. I know there are things that I’m going to use next year as we really get kick our iPad program into gear.