Thursday, October 22, 2015

Learning how to "do" iPads

Before you can really "do" iPads, your students need a "Very particular set of skills..." anyone else a Taken fan?

No, but seriously, they do. Our kiddos need a good foundation in technology literacy in order to be able to use their iPads or computers effectively. 

After we set the tone and sans-tech foundations for using our iPads, we pass out the iPads and help the kids navigate one of our most used apps, Showbie

We show the kids how to open the app, log in with their password cards, and access the first document we want to work on. We do this whole group, step by step as if working on a craft. We use our "student-teachers" to help other friends as they navigate this new app. 

We open the first document, which is a letter assessment, and which we will later use as a formative assessment for both letters and tech literacy. then we ZOOM! That's right, we work on using the zoom feature so that the kiddos get a grasp of how to use their fine motor skill to zoom in, making material easier to view and manipulate. 

Then we practice zooming out, again using our fine motor skills as well as some motor planning strategies to get the document back to original size. This also helps us develop the kids tech vocabulary using "zoom" as the method of magnifying.

The next icon to address on the Showbie app is the pen feature. It has various sizes and colors (if you have the paid subscription). Will give the kiddos step by step directions again, "Make a yellow marker," "Make a red pen" i.e. the thickest line, and yellow color or thinnest line, red color. You can assess color knowledge and math concepts of thick and thin here.

P.S. In the picture above, you can see the password cards that I use to organize all the kids app passwords.

Next, the kiddos get directions what to do with their "pen" or "marker."  For the kids who are moving right along, you can let them explore, for other friends, we sit down and problem solve to get them up to speed. We look at fine motor planning and ability as the kiddos are circling letters that they know and following our step by step directions.

All along, we display the goals and our progress on the SmartBoard so our little friends can follow along.

After we have taught 2-3 components of the app, we let kids explore. This little lady found the voice feature. We used her find as a teachable moment to intro the feature even though we weren't necessarily ready. It ended up giving us some time to work with our friends who were still struggling, while the "student-teachers" helped iron out the voice feature.  

Tomorrow, we will get at it again, review the features we learned and add on some more.  Most importantly, we will be building the staircase up to full technology integration and purposeful use of our tech as our kids develop their tech literacy.

Do you introduce iPads in a similar way or just let the kiddos explore? What works for you?

If you need some more to help you get started with iPads, grab this FREEBIE or this ONE!


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