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I am not sure who was more excited: teachers or pupils! Today saw the children having an amazing surprise and being greeted with their own personal iPads. They were eager to open them and for some pupils, become familiar with some new applications. The first job of the day was to discuss safety, move applications into folders and then customise iPads so that the wallpaper set, along with lock screen was personal to themselves.

My Year 5s from last year were incredibly quick to investigate new applications and begin to use more than one for a creative outcome. To be honest, even though applications are grouped by some for ‘art’ and some for ‘English’ etc,  being e-learning Manager at Casllwchwr for the last 2 years, has allowed me to see how the children utilise many different applications together for a creative outcome. Or even how they may view an application labelled in the photography category , as an enhancement for writing! They also surprise me as they get to understand an application so quickly and then improve their outcome by pairing/grouping it with another. They are ‘multiapping’ and then lead their own learning.

Take today’s customising of iPads, for example. All iPads have the class name and pupil name labelled at the back of the device. With six or seven children to each group of tables- I just want the children to be able to pick their devices when needed and open their covers to find their iPad- rather than having to turn them around to view their set of initials. So we have an iPad basket in the middle of the tables from which devices may be taken out if the children decide they are going to enhance their learning using the device.

My new Year 5 Children had to use the device and applciations today to personalise their iPads. They had to take a photo and then use ‘wordfoto’ to think of adjectives that describe themselves and summarise their personality. I have also used ‘Type drawing’ to support this. I tend to show the children how wonderful it can be to develop summarising when working on that higher order reading skill. The children can select key words when summarising and then insert a photograph into the application and type in their chosen words to create a collage of that picture. The results are beautiful collages to display in the classroom. These display the key vocabulary we want children to be exposed to regularly.

My class then needed to be able to use ArtRage to present a picture. Some drew and painted digital portraits whilst others displayed wordart using different textures and brush styles. They were then able to save their artrage picture and press ‘back to gallery’ where there is an option to export the finished picture to photos / camera roll. Some of my class then decided to use Moxier collage to add their wordfotos/type drawings/ art rage pictures and more. Once completed and again saved to photos, the children went into settings and brightness and wallpaper. they tapped wallpaper and went to find their finished collage from the camera roll. They selected the picture and then pressed ‘set both’ for the lock screen and home screen. They are so pleased and proud that their iPad is now actually theirs.

I also used tutorials created by my pupils from last year which we had placed into an iBooks Author. I taught last year’s pupils how to use the Reflection application on the Macbooks and they then reflected  the class iPad onto the MacBook and did a screen recording using QuickTime player and talked through their knowledge of the application.This was shared with children today. In my experience, children learn so well from their peers  and those creating the tutorials develop Oracy skills so well.

I can’t wait for tomorrow. Children shall be creating display work and then using fotobabble, llinking to QR codes to make our classroom displays come to life! As they scan the QR code, (Which will link to the Fotobabble URL) their voices will play through the devices. Brilliant ownership for the pupils and wonderful interactive displays where they are no longer just wallpaper! I intend to get the children talking and evaluating pieces too so children once more will learn from their peers when they scan the QR code. I know it works, as I did it last year. I can’t wait for the enthusiasm to spread even further! I shall be posting pupil tutorials on here very shortly to help others with applications. Watch this space…

Posted by Sarah Reece (e-Learning Manager)

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4 thoughts on “Many excited faces at Casllwchwr!

  1. Hi Sarah. It would be great if you could put up your core list of apps. Some of the ones you’re using sound fantastic! I’m sure the kids are having so much fun, and learning at the same time. Great work!

  2. Sarah, this is soooooooo exciting to read! Well done you, and to everybody involved at Casllwchwr! It’s great to hear about what is going on, and even better to read about it ‘from the ground level’ i.e. from the classroom. Thanks for describing what exactly you do (and how and why) – it really does help paint a clear picture. Cyffrous! x

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