Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Thoughts for Year 3
* Less IS more for me. I have far fewer apps on my iPad now than I did 3 years ago and my iPad use seems more streamlined, productive, and less daunting
* Less IS more for students. We have cut back to 4 apps students will use regularly (Camera, DrawingPad, Explain Everything, Scan) and use "skills practice" apps in a guided fashion with students who need work in specific areas (this is where 1 to 1 would make our lives easier!).
* A clear purpose for apps and explanation of intent for iPad use is important. Last year we had several apps on the iPads that students were using frequently, but I found myself becoming hesitant to bring out the iPads because the benefit I originally intended the apps for seemed lost (for example, Puppet Pals was too tempting for silliness and not the storytelling platform I envisioned, and once they figured out how to change the settings on LetterSchool, there was no going back, defeating the object of letter formation practice). I have had to think and rethink how we introduce apps and set expectations. This is very much a work in progress.
* I love the idea of Evernote, but have not fully embraced it, yet. For meeting notes I have actually found I prefer Notability (due to the ability to write with stylus on agenda, highlight). Maybe I will take a poll sometime (Poll Everywhere?)
* It is satisfying to have a clear vision and goal. Student documentation of work is my goal. Right now students are regularly documenting their work in the classroom with photos. I hope to get them comfortable with Explain Everything to add audio to their documentation. I need to become more comfortable with Explain Everything (or we learn together). There is a lot of potential to be had in thinking of how students (who are often pre-literate) can share their ideas and document their learning.
* iPad minis are much easier for our students to manage, particularly in using the camera (for photos and video).
* iPad maintenance always takes more time than expected.
* Google Drive is better than Dropbox.
* Google Chrome makes it easy to switch between accounts on my laptop. Chrome has proved less helpful on the iPad since I manage different Google Accounts, but I have not used it much.
* QR Codes are fun and useful
* There simply is not enough time to do it all so choose carefully and prioritize.