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Entries in Teachers (4)

Videos: Creative Teaching via iPads in Schools

Educators are always seeking the 'Holy Grail' of teaching - engaged learners. It's even better when students don't realise they are learning but do so through having fun and being creative. That's where the iPad comes in.

Children especially are naturals at wanting to interact through the touch interface, many computer owning Parents will testify to that after repeatedly cleaning smudgy fingerprints off their screens.

Here are a couple of videos demonstrating how the iPad is being used to engage and teach children through fun and creative learning.

iPad Pilot Project - RCEF

This video from the Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF) shows how one elementary school is using the iPad to help children get involved and interactive with learning, mainly in Maths and Literacy lessons:

iPad Pilot Project Funded By The Redwood City Education Foundation from RCEF on Vimeo.

Using DoInk to envision the future

This video, one of many from the Clay Animation Network, shows what children from the Lawton Elementary school think the future will be like. Apparently in 50 years time the world will be full of aliens, robots, teleportation and floating people. Sounds about right to us (apart from the aliens probably).

The elementary school students used the brilliant iPad animation app DoInk to create their vision of the future:

At Lawton elementary 66 students are creating animations in groups of 2 and 3 students using the animation program called DOINK.  Each group will create a 10-15 second animation showing a scene that could happen in a school 50 years from now.

There are a lot of ideas in this video, it's quite a long one, but stick with it, we think you'll enjoy the animations:

Share your story

We love hearing about how the iPad is being used in the Education field, so if you have any good examples of creativity in the classroom with any age group, young or old, please let us know about it.

iPad 2 and Educators

Continuing our mini-series of posts about the potential benefits of the iPad 2, released this Friday, we take a look at how Teachers and other Educators could benefit from the upgrade.

The Scenario

Let's fire up the 'dream machine' and take a little trip into an imaginary scenario. You are a Teacher taking a 30 strong group of 12/13 year old kids on a Museum tour (Ok 'nightmare machine').

You want to do something other than the printed-list-on-a-clipboard assignment you do every time and your Institution has a bunch of 3G iPad 2 units you can use on your field trip (we did say 'imagine').

You decide to split your students up into groups of 3 or 4 and give each group an iPad 2 with 3G. Their assignment? A 21st Century Treasure Hunt using the following technologies:

Video Chat Check-in (FaceTime (WiFi) / Skype (3G))

You locate yourself somewhere in the Museum, where doesn't matter. You ask your groups to call you once they find each item on the list and show it to you via the video conference (FaceTime or Skype) so you can confirm their find before they move on to the next 'treasure'.

If you want to be really comprehensive you could ask them to switch to the front facing camera and show that all 3 or 4 of them are there so you can confirm no-one has wandered off. By the way, you don't need to have an iPad you could just use your iPhone 4/iPod Touch 4th generation (WiFi only) if you have one, or an older 3GS for Skype calls.

Virtual / Augmented Reality (AR) Learning

You have cleverly chosen to visit a Museum that has developed an iOS App that uses a map of the Museum and GPS to ascertain the students' location and AR overlay giving information on what is being seen by the onboard camera. You could even do this in a City Centre if they have something like the Museum of London's AR App.

Alternatively, an App that uses a 3D model to create a virtual version of the Museum so the students can touch the room they are in and see information pertinent to their location, perhaps using the camera to line up a frame in the centre of the screen and overlay information that they can use to learn about the exhibits or displays.

Movie Creation as an Assignment

Fine tuning 20110302

As part of the assignment you ask your students to put together a 3 minute iMovie with voice over and sound, detailing the items they found in the museum and their search. You ask them to make sure all of their group appear in the video (another verification method).

This will then be presented to the rest of the class when they return and groups will vote for their favourite video (you could even assign extra credit on the assignment for the winners).

You could even go as far as having a YouTube or Vimeo account or Facebook page setup where they can upload their movie. This would act as submission of their assignment.

You, meanwhile, could be sat anywhere working on other tasks, waiting for the submissions to appear in the account.

Video Recording & Review

What if you could video your students delivery of a presentation or demonstration of a skill and give them direct feedback, even including other students in small group peer assessment? This can be a very powerful teaching tool and encourages critique and critical thinking whilst the activity is fresh in everyone's minds.

In fact, on our recent post 'iPad 2 and Video Makers', one of our readers, Axis, told us this is exactly what he plans to do with iPad 2:

"As a martial arts instructor I would be putting the video capabilities of the iPad 2 to use on a daily basis. The value of being able to record a student and then show them the video almost immediately is incredible. Students progress so much faster when they can see what you are seeing. Telling a student a technique not quite right is one thing, but when that student sees it for themselves something powerful happens and that technique is perfected exponentially faster. Being able to record and immediately analyze your performance is priceless. We do it now with the iPhone, and many times transfer the video over to the iPad and it's much larger screen, but that adds quite a bit of extra time, I can see the iPad 2 greatly streamlining this process."

Of course, as Axis mentioned, HD video recording is not unique to iPad 2, the iPhone 4 did it first, but here is what iPad 2 brings to the table:

  • Screen size - a larger playback image helps you see the detail more clearly, plus share it with more than one person
  • Video Editing/Recording - This is new to the iPad and as such eliminates import or transfer of video from another device/source
  • Video Mirroring - which could display the resulting video on an even larger screen, no matter what app you are using (a major improvement over iPad 1 & iOS 4.2)
  • Front and Rear Cameras - Enables a learner to show what they see, but also feature themself in the video, opening up a more contextual recording of the situation or events. Including them in the video could add to the experience, for example, showing their reactions or the scene behind them as they run away from something (think Media/Graphic students and Cloverfield).

Video Mirroring as an IT demo tool

The new iOS Video Mirroring, an iPad 2 only feature, has its obvious application in the classroom as a demonstration tool, but we can see Video Mirroring being used in future roll-outs of iPad programs. Think how it could be used to demo to Faculty staff and large groups of Students in a lecture hall projected onto a large screen for example.

How useful would it be to have everyone sat with their new iPad 2 in their hands, watching a live demo of accessing the App store for example, or using Safari to log in to a VLE and access courses, resources or submit assignments?

You could then back this up with printed or electronic instructions, but there is nothing like being shown how to use something whilst having hands-on practice yourself. As an IT Instructor of nearly 15 years, this has never failed to be the most impactive learning activity, in my experience.

Over to You

Again, these are only a few examples, we haven't mentioned the enormous potential of GarageBand for example or WiFi interactive sharing or using Skype for visiting speakers or inter-school activities.

We would love to hear your ideas. Have you got anything you plan to use the new iPad 2 for? What can it help you do that you cannot do now? Let us know in the comments.

Record Breaking iPad Band Attempt This Friday

This Friday, 4th March, a group of Educators will attempt to gain a Guinness World Record by playing their iPads along with modern classical 'quartet' (three Cello players and a rock drummer) Cello Fury at an ArtsEducator 2.0 gathering.

They are hoping to make the record books as the World's largest iPad Band. We are not sure exactly how the Teachers are going to join the band or what they will be playing on their iPads, but if you fancy following the record attempt on Friday they will be livestreaming via their wikipage.

Further details on the ArtsEdTech blog, where you can read more posts about how this creative bunch of Teachers are using their iPads in and around the field of Education. It is a regular read for us, they have some great ideas.

Teachers in iPad Heaven

Yesterday, we stumbled across this headline, "2 Days to iPad Heaven", and of course we were intrigued!

What we found was this blog from a group of art, music and theatre teachers involved in a funded education project in Pennsylvania, USA. The funding is coming from a grant called 'Arts Educator 2.0'. 

There are some really interesting posts about the apps that the group are using on their iPads and their experiences (good and bad), plus the comments left by other teachers add useful resources and further reading, like this list of Projection Apps.

We also found a link to this video from one of the teachers on the project demoing the iPad with VGA out and its use in teaching:

iPad to TV demo from ArtsEducator2.0 on Vimeo.

The iPad Heaven mentioned in the headline above is a 60 plus iPad project. At lunchtime today, Pennsylvania will have a lot of happy creatives receiving their brand spanking new iPads. We are looking forward to keeping up with the development of the project and reading about their experiences.

Be sure to check out the blog and have a look back at some of the older posts too for some interesting reading from a teacher's perspective.