Friday, 29 November 2013

3 iPad/iPod Christmas activities for kids

How do we want students using iPads during the Christmas holidays?

How about creating, collaborating and communicating with Project based activities that will both engage, foster and develop 21st century skills whilst having an awesome time!

1. Create on comic/iBook on their favourite holiday moments
Incorporating the camera and Apps like Comic Life and Book Creator, our kids become authors at the same time. It also encourages kids to work together and involve the whole family.
Tutorials Here:

2. Time Lapse Photography iMovie
My girls are currently doing this as I write this Blog. The set up their iPod and use the App iMotion HD to take photos at 20 second intervals of the kids putting up the Christmas tree. They then drop into iMovie and add text and music to create an amazing time Lapse movie. Very cool.
Tutorials Here:

3. Create a digital Video Game
Using iPad Apps like Hopscotch and GamePress students can immerse themselves into the world of video games. But there is a difference! The kids can create their own, test, evaluate, work together and learn how to code at the same time. A really worthwhile activity!
Tutorials Here:

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

5 activities all students should use iPads for

1. Learning journals
Still one of the most powerful activities I have ever given my students. Challenging and confronting at times but so effective. When do children have the time to sit down and reflect on what they have learnt and what they have struggled with? Do you really think tests do this. Take a look at Learning Journals.

2. Learning to Code
Watching a kid code is like watching them think! There has never been a better time to teach kids to code on mobile devices. Hopscotch and GamePress two of my favourites.

3. Reading Response activities
Too much pen and paper! Doesn't fully show what students know or what they are thinking. Allow students to respond to text with pictures, video and audio.

4. Creating Multi-Media presentations
The iPad is not a computer, so stop using it like one. Utilise the plethora of effective Apps like Explain Everything so that students can create presentations that are effective and engaging for the audience. Not only that but multi-modal presentations often show a deep level of understanding.

5. Collaborating with other students
Being mobile and having access to collaboration tools such as Google Docs presents a range of new opportunities for students to collaborate with each other. Imagine taking video during a Science field trip and collaborating with a scientist on the other side of the world?

Friday, 8 November 2013

Hour of Code just the beginning

With the momentum building in the lead up to Computer Science Week in the States and Hour of Code, I can't help thinking this is just the beginning. What makes me think this? For the past 12 months I have been teaching my students to Code and I have seen the benefits first hand. Rich, deep level thinking, the collaboration, and the ability to see Code come alive are just some of the reasons all students should learn to code in schools.

On the 9th December (and the lead up week) there is a massive push to get kids coding. I think the success of this week and what follows is dependent on an element we have not placed a higher enough priority on - the teachers. See without passionate teachers who believe in coding we will not produce passionate students. The teacher is not the only ingredient, but certainly an important one.

Paul is the Author of the upcoming iBook "Teaching students to code on the iPad".