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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Are You a One and Done? Using iPads to Get Learning and Get Social (Part 3)

Are you a one and done? Are you an educator who uses only one App per educational experience, meeting the needs of some and ignoring the needs of others? In this series, I am continuing to explore how you can use multiple Apps to address the needs of ALL learners. In other words, how do you Universally Design an iPad experience?

My previous post discussed how to provide options for reading on an iPad. Today I want to show you how to turn learning into a social activity through a recipe of three free Apps. 

Ingredient # 1: Get Brainstorming with iBrainstorm



Making connections with new material often begins with activating background knowledge. Recently, I had my students use a free App called iBrainstorm, to generate  a list of three things they already knew about a particular topic. 

Students used the App to write ideas by hand or create typed post-it notes.. When they were finished, they got up and began to mingle with other classmates, swapping and sharing their ideas until they filled their iPad with eight different facts. We discussed the facts and began to discuss our lesson for the day. 


Ingredient # 2: Get Talking with NearPod

 As we progressed through my Prezi presentation, students worked in pairs to discuss questions using a free App called NearPod. If you are not familiar with it, NearPod helps create dynamic and interactive presentations through a variety of features to help students learn and demonstrate their understanding. To make things simple, I created a series of blank slides, which students could draw or write their answers. 

After each group submitted their response, I could see a gallery of their answers. I showcased each group's answer, which also appears on every single group's iPad (what a great classroom management feature!). I noticed that this feature helped my students become more attentive because it eliminated distractions. It is also a great tool for visually challenged students, because they can see what's on your projector screen on their iPad.

Ingredient # 3: Get to the Point with Tellegami

The last five minutes of class are often the most wasted minutes of a class period because many students use this as a time to put away materials and socialize. I figured that I would allow my students to become chatty through a free App called Tellegami. Students can record their voice in a 30 second customized cartoon called a Gami. Students use it to summarize what we learned in class that day. The best part is that it can easily be shared through social media, text messaging, or email.

What about your socially-awkward or quiet students? One alternative is a free educational social network called Edmodo. 

Conclusion:

There is nothing better than getting students talking and moving. When you can accomplish both, students are often more engaged and ready to learn. With all of the cool Apps available, we often forget that iPads can help students develop social skillls too! Why not try your own social recipe today?

DECEMBER CONTINUES CLICK FOR A CAUSE!

Ayden Murray is from Wrightsville, PA and was diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. He is receiving treatment at Hershey Medical Center and needs your prayers and support. 
For every time someone visits my blog until the end of December, myself and several donors will donate to his medical fund "Prayers 4 Ayden." 

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