Over the last few months I have worked with a number of schools and teachers to support them in the use of iPads in a range of classroom settings. From these experiences I can group people into two broad categories – those that are excited by the simple creative potential of the device and those who are trying to make the device conform to their existing practice.
Those teachers who are genuine in their pursuit to harness the creative possibilities of iPads are experiencing plenty of great success stories with student engagement and learning outcomes. Their students are inspired to participate and are regularly challenging themselves (and each other) to express their learning through a range of apps. These students are exploiting the capabilities that app developers have made possible. Making a movie is no longer a laborious task. Apps like iMovie, Sonic Pics, Sock Puppets and Silent Film Director have made simple multimedia production a positive experience for students and teachers. Even better – the learning curve for each of these apps is almost negligible so the focus is on the content of the production not on mastering challenging applications.
To the other teachers who are diligently moulding iPads to their traditional views on education, please try something different. Your students will be inspired and you may well be amazed at what your students can achieve.