Saturday, 24 November 2012

Technology in the classroom ~

There is nothing better as a teacher, than seeing students fully engaged in the learning process and working on ipads means this happens regularly. Whenever my students get a chance to use an ipad they are super excited about learning. Whether it is working on phonic and maths apps or reading and comprehension tasks, students are keen to learn and stay focused for extended periods of time.

Students who are tempted to disengage during mat time or those who are easily distracted become focused and dedicated learners when they can manipulate this particular learning tool. The ipads have proven to be a great tool for buddy work where students effectively peer tutor one another. By teaming students up in their individual areas of strength, they are able to co-teach their peers and further the consolidation process of curriculum content, concepts and facts.

I have used the ipads as a successful differentiated learning tool across a variety of different learning needs. Students in need of learning support enjoy tasks that assist them in consolidating their sounds and phonological awareness in a fun and stimulating format. However, I have found that these students need careful monitoring to ensure that they use the app tasks effectively and purposefully. Careful hovering ensures that students do not make random selections or undertake unnecessary guesswork when learning their letter and sounds. Students are reminded to carefully select sounds and letters by also using wall charts and alphabet cards displayed around the classroom.

For those students ready  and in need of extension of curriculum content, the ipad has allowed them the freedom to learn autonomously and independently at their own pace. Opportunity is given to pursue areas of personal interest around broad curriculum themes. This term a few of my students investigated matter and specifically explored the concepts of solids, liquids and gases. After gathering the information that they needed, students worked in their project books and presented their learning to the rest of the class. A highlight was showcasing the variety of science experiments that they had worked on, which was a great teaching and learning tool for everyone. Used wisely ipads compliment classroom learning in purposeful and meaningful ways.