Exploring the use of iPads and mobile devices in education.
I thought it may be interesting to start a discussion around some of the more innovative learning activities occurring with mobile technology in Math and Science. If you're doing anything interesting - or know of anyone else that's doing anything creative - go ahead and post a detailed description in the Discussion forum below.
Feel free to mention the apps being used but let's try and avoid a sales pitch about specific apps; the discussion is about innovative learning practices. Add your opinions!
For math we are using a screen-casting app (Explain Everything) for students to take pictures of everyday figures and then measure, draw and explain. They can also in photos from the internet and do a bit of research on shapes and patterns from certain regions of the world and then write and explain the patterns using the recording tool, integrating more literacy into math.
We also use Snow Day Math as an intervention tool for the primary grades for learning base 10- and we have used with no instruction and pure inquiry as well as some scaffolded supports and full supports with using counters simultaneously.
For science we are using Zydeco Inquiry, an amazing NSF funded app. Teachers create investigations and build in the focus questions and can add as much scaffolding as needed (students can also add in guiding questions). Students can then collect data with photos, audio, video or writing and tag each with specific tags as well as arrange the data to specific guiding questions. All the students in that investigation can share their evidence via wifi, so if they didn't collect enough supporting evidence, they can use each others. They then have to write in their claim and pull in each piece of evidence/data that they have collected and then write their scientific reasoning. The app really helps reinforce the need for data and scaffolds everything really well for students of all ages, and supports our science noteboooking structures.
My kindergarteners are using StarWalk Kids ebook collection to learn about "Big Bugs." The ebook gives them opportunites to add notes for a "close read." http://starwalkkids.com From there we use the information to find examples of the bugs on Google images. They compile images of the bugs we discussed in the text and then use the app Story Creator to upload their images and add text. They have to include evidence from text "Big Bugs." Then, we identify insects using the three ways they are alike (six legs, 3 body parts, hard skeleton.) Once I think that they understand what to look for, we go back to Google images and find examples of insects and they collect their images through screen shots. To confirm that they understand, I use Nearpod draw your answer and have them each submit a diagram of an insect with 3 labeled body parts. Note- many of them will still spell phonetically. Then, we are able to go back into our book using app Story Creator and they add examples of insects & include facts through text or narration. We can extend on this topic each day while collecting & saving data in our ebook.
High School Algebra and Geometry: Students are given a problem to solve and as they solve it they narrate through and show the steps using an app such as Educreations. The teacher checks the work and posts the video to her webpage, blog, Educreations account or YouTube channel. Students can access the videos for reinforcement or for help solving a similar problem. Students who seem disinterested are suddenly engaged participants and often do 3 or 4 "retakes" to be sure the screen-cast is perfect.
We're experimenting a bit with student screencasting - right now we have one cart to share, which we used in our pilot, and I'm exploring possibilities to implement once we're 1:1 next year. When we do our "slate practice", introducing a skill (such as long division or fraction multiplication), I'm asking them to record their slate practice on Educreations. If it's an open ended skill that might have different ways to reach the answer, I have the kids show their "film" on the projector to their classmates, explaining their work as they go along. And next year I'm going to have the students use this work to create a digital notebook - so when they go home at night to practice that skill, they can review their own notes in screencast form.