Saturday, February 8, 2014

Using Less Paper with a Few iPads

Often teachers struggle with how to use iPads in the classroom daily. This year I am using a small group of iPads (7) during my reading workstations which helps to eliminate making the many copies that I have made in the past. It also has helped to enhance my students' excitement for learning and has provided access to a wider range of knowledge which is provided through the internet.

My students are using the iPads to complete their reading workstations for the week. I have two google accounts which one is my personal school account and the other is for the students to use and access.  I create reading workstations on my personal school account and copy it to my student account.  I do not want my students to be able to access my original copy.  I currently have four heterogeneous groups in my classroom which are called by the following names: Yummy Yellow, Radiant Red, Brilliant Blue, and Outstanding Orange.  When I copy my workstations to my student account, I make four copies of workstations and make a title with their group names in them.  When the students access the account, they look under their groups names and fill in what is asked of them for that week.  I found that the Google app does not work well on the iPad 1s.  For some reason, they cannot edit the Google documents. The students login through Safari and are able to edit their documents with this method. I no longer have to make copies for each students and each station.  It not only helps me out, but it also helps the students.  There are some students who struggle with keeping up with their weekly workstations papers.  By using the iPads, their group work is saved on the iPad through the Google documents and their do not even have to press save.  This way of doing things helps me and the students. 

Our grade level integrates our Social Studies curriculum into our reading stations.  The students use the iPads to watch videos and answer questions.  They also use the iPads when working on research projects.  We recently started researching some of the battles that took place in North Carolina which led up the American Revolution.  The students have been given safe websites and videos to find information on each battle.  They are also encouraged to use their Social Studies book.  By researching this way, they are having to use higher order thinking skills in formulating their own ideas on the topic and use different types of media to do so. The students are also learning how to work together and collaborate with different types of personalities. By using this technology in the classroom, it has not only enhanced my students learning, but it has cut down on the amount of paper I have to use.

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