During this session, we looked at Helen’s Prezzi presentation and received a wide range of brilliant apps to use within the Early Years, including:
- Haiku Deck – This is an app where you can simply upload photos and add text over the top to tell stories etc.
- PlayArt – This app gives children the chance to play around with art from original paintings from famous artists. The children can move them, rotate them and create new pictures using elements from the original.
- Popplet – This is an app I have spoke about before on this blog. This is a very simple way to make a flow chart about any subject imaginable, which can then be embedded into a document or presented to a group.
- Jelly Bean Count – This app allows 4 children to all play at once on one iPad. The children all have a corner of the iPad each, which a particular colour. When the jelly beans come up, the children have to count the beans of their colour and put the amount of fingers onto their colour. For example, if there are 3 blue jelly beans, the person on the blue corner will need to put 3 fingers on.
- Tellegami – This app allows you to make a video with an animated person, adding a background, recording your voice / giving the character text to say, and sharing the video. This could be a fantastic app to use in History fore example, by having a historic place in the background and having the character speak about that place.
During Session 2 we were given time to finish off our digital storytelling task. We managed to transfer our felt images onto iMovie and change our images into a trailer. We really liked the fact that we could transfer the images from one app onto the iMovie app to extend the quality of our movie. We had previously used iMovie so knew how to add text and pictures etc. However, one problem which we came across was that iMove gives you a set amount of boxes to add pictures to, however, we did not have enough pictures to fill all the boxes. Luckily we found a way to overcome this problem, by editing the movie once we had finished, and we managed to cut out a few seconds where we had previously had to repeat one picture for a few boxes.
Here is our finished product.
This is a fantastic app for Key Stage 1, as the children would be able to carry this out independently once they had learnt the basic skills. However, for the Early Years I feel that the process of making the pictures, transferring them to the iMovie app, and being able to add the pictures and add text would be a bit too much for the reception children. However, I feel this would be a lovely activity if the teacher / TA has time to carry this out in pairs for example so they can give the children the support they may require. It is lovely to see all your photos that you have made suddenly transformed into a movie at the touch of a button, and I feel the children would be proud of what they create with this app.
After we completed this, we were asked to try out some of the apps using the iPad’s and then review these on a joint review sheet, unfortunately we did not have time to comment on the joint review sheet due to our problems making our movie. However we did manage to trial some of the app’s mentioned.
The directed reading was: Manipulating Media, by Caldwell, H
This article discusses how useful tablets can be in the classroom to combine media in effective ways for different purposes, for example story telling. The article was based on a curriculum enrichment week held by Bridgewater Primary School. The theme was avatars, and the whole school was involved, giving each year group a different task to carry out using ICT to help the avatars who are lost.
To start, the school made a curriculum plan showing what each year groups specific theme would be, and the links to art, science and the new ‘computing’ part of the curriculum.
The children were able to mix and match a range of different apps on their tablets to actually carry out their activities, for example they could draw a picture, take a picture of this on the tablet, and then transfer that picture onto a different app, and from this they could actually have their artwork as a background for a film for example.
The article goes on to discuss how the children were learning, what they were learning and what they gained from the experience. Overall, using tablets in the classroom to enhance any topic / area of learning is a bonus, as it gives the children a new interest in the topic. It gives the children a chance to use a wide range of creative ideas to create something rather than just drawing an idea on a piece of paper for example. The opportunities to children are endless.
iPads in the classroom
I carried out some additional reading on the subjects of iPads in the classroom: iPads in the classroom
This article discusses how iPads can bring education to life, while making learning more engaging and memorable. It even asks the question, what if we were to give all children an iPad to use in school and to take home with them? In my opinion, although this isn’t realistic, it would be extremely beneficial to the children, because any work they do at school would be saved to their own iPad, and they could then use what they have done at school to carry out homework based on this, and even finish off projects at home that they may not have had time to complete in school. It would also mean that children could have apps downloaded onto their iPad that are specific to their needs.
Overall, it raves about the benefits of using iPads in the classroom and is an interesting read.