Book Creator is a wonderful app we added to our Core student apps this fall. It is a simple book-creating app that supports text, images, audio, video and drawings. This student created a wonderful informational book about Ancient Egypt's Holy Hieroglyphs and Rosetta Stone. In the movie form, you can watch as I turn the pages and listen to her audio recordings of certain word definitions. Students can share their Book Creator books in ePub format using iBooks (only to be read on an iPad or iPhone) or can export as PDF.
This project represents the culmination of the fifth grade studies on ancient Egypt. Students learned about geography of the area and how the Nile River allowed a civilization to be born. Students learned about the Old Kingdom (2500-2100 B.C.E.), which was a time when the ancient Egyptians built many of their tombs and pyramids. Students learned about the Middle Kingdom (2000-1650 B.C.E), which was a time when writing was important and Egypt produced art and literature. They also learned about the New Kingdom (1550-1100 B.C.E.), which was a time when Hatshepsut, a woman, ruled the land.
Students chose topics that interested them about Egypt and researched questions using books and Internet resources. They learned how to find sources, take notes, and then wrote a multi-paragraphed essay that ultimately answered their question. Students used Google Sites to design a website form the text and completed a project at home.
Parents were invited into school to see student projects and to view their websites which were displayed on their iPads.
In addition to our 5th grade 1:1 Learning Initiative we have a pilot program in House M at Wellesley Middle School. Approximately 80 students and 4 core subject teachers (Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies) are working in a 1:1 ipad environment.
In ELA, students were challenged to present more than their SINGLE STORY...
“The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one statement become the only story.” ~ Chimamanda Adichie, The Danger of the Single Story House M classmates know part of your story.What is the rest of your story? Here is one example of the finished product, creating using Explain Everything.
One of my favorite resources as a parent and teacher in this digital age is Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media has grown tremendously in the past few years, they are "dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology."
Today, I am including their catchy Pause & Think Online Video.
(Classroom posters are available as well, here.)
The website is a wealth of information...definitely worth checking out...their blog "Making Sense" has some great posts focused on "parenting, media and everything in between."
As part of it's fall grant cycle The Wellesley Education Foundation has funded a wireless proscope microscope for each elementary school. The Proscope Mobile is a wireless handheld digital microscope designed for use with the iPad. Up to 254 devices can all connect to the micrsoscope through a secure static IP wifi network and view what is being looked at under microscope. Students can then capture images to use in other apps (we call this "app smashing") and demonstrate their understanding. Teachers will receive training this month and any classroom completing the 5th grade Microscopes unit this spring will begin using them.
Below is an example of an Educreations presentation a student created explaining why a certain ecosystem was or wasn't healthy. Students used images gathered from a field trip to the ecosystem as well as images they took while examining field samples using the Proscope Mobile.
After much consideration and training on using iPads in classrooms, the Technology Department and the App Evaluation Committee (made up of teachers, technology specialists and curriculum specialists) worked together to select a core set of educational apps that would be used in the Fifth Grade 1:1 Initiative. Rather than buying into Apple's "There's an App for That" campaign, we choose a small set of apps that emphasize creativity and creation and expect that our students and teachers will become fluent in these apps throughout the course of the program. Our philosophy is that students can master several great apps while demonstrate their knowledge of different subjects in order to master the workflow of sending images to and retrieving from the camera to use in any app, copying and pasting text from Google Drive, as well as sharing their projects when complete through Google Drive or AirDrop rather than hundreds of apps that each address a very narrow subject matter.