A mashup of all things educational! From technology and social media to leadership and international education, this is where I will be reflecting and applying everything thing I learn from the web and my PLN. Join me on the adventure and add your opinion to the mix!

09 June 2014

7 Yes they can! Kindy kids and iPads!

Last week I wrote a post about how we've been using our imagine lab (makerspace) with our grade 5 students to learn more about circuits which was a great experience that I was able to team teach.  This week, I went to kindergarten to see how the teachers were using the iPads with the younger students in kindergarten.  Wow... what a surprise I had awaiting me!

The kindergarten teachers wanted help using "a video app" to help the kids record their summative assessment posters and the explanations behind them.  When I arrived, they were trying to use videolicious to record in under 1 minute what a group of 6 students had learned.  While this was not a bad approach, we quickly realised that it wasn't what they wanted.  After a few minutes of discussion with the teachers, we decided that the students really just needed to use the camera app to video the explanations.  Quickly, the teachers started organising the kids into groups to start videoing the students themselves while the others watched.  Happily, these teachers were AMAZING, open-minded, risk-takers and took to my suggestion to let the students do the filming.  With eyes wide open, they hesistantly agreed and we began watching the magic unfold!  In that moment, the teachers went from substituting the video for an oral presentation to bravely modifying the learning in their classroom. (SAMR model)

The teachers gave the groups of students an iPad and asked them to practice filming one another.  We reviewed the basic rules of iPad use such as hold it carefully and share with the other students.  Off they went and soon there was a flurry of action as the kids went around filming themselves in all sorts of activities around the room.

Kindergarten students exploring how to take video with iPads via Instagram http://ift.tt/TCsFw9

Click below to
After a five minutes we had the students come back together and asked them what they learned about making a video with an iPad.  Unamiously they shouted "no moving!" and "two hands!"  After watching a few examples of their videos we summarized the steps for making a good video from their point of view: hold with two hands, stand still, don't talk if you're the camera person.

Teachers reflecting with students about what makes a good video via Instagram http://ift.tt/1iibXrL

After that short inquiry, they were ready to practice their poster explanations.  The teachers took a group of students into the hall one at a time and had a camera person and a sound person (microphone holder!) from another group come along.  With the teachers standing by as a guide, the students organised themselves and filmed themselves explaining their posters! The results were AMAZING! They had ownership of their organization and their work which they took so seriously! It was great to watch!

Students filming their own summative assessment via Instagram http://ift.tt/1kVhj1R

In the end, the videos were short but effective and illustrated so very clearly what they understood about the topic they were studying.  When asked if they liked being able to video themselves, they all shouted "Yes! More!"  Yes, the videos were still shaky and at times they filmed some feet and hands instead of faces, but I think we've put them on a path of confidence and independence which is more important than a perfect video!

For me, what came out of this experience was something even more exciting; the willingness of two teachers to embrace the unknown and give the iPads a try even though they were uncertain.  What a great model they were for their students!  I'm confident that not only did the students learn that day but so did the teachers.  When teachers learn alongside the students, they build a cycle of life-long learning that is nothing less than inspiring! It certainly verified for me why I tell our teachers our vision for technology in the school is "technology in the hands of the students!" It was great to have a concrete example of the SAMR model in action!

Do you have a program or curriculum in place for your youngest students to use technology?  What have you found to be an effective lesson or use with them?  Do you have examples of the SAMR model in action?

Looking forward to your thoughts!
Jessica :)


Phillip Cowell said...

Awesome stuff Jess. We do lots with our KG students as well about videoing and so forth. Are your KG teachers using Easy Blogger JR to share these to a class blog? We find the countdown and screen in screen functions on the app make videos and photos much easier to capture too.

Jessica said...

Thanks, Phillip! I didn't know about Easy Blogger Jr so I will take a look right now! We have class blogs for each room but are still finding the best workflow system. It sounds like this will help! I would love to see some of the things that you've done with your kindy kids!

Thanks for visiting the blog and for the comment!

Phillip Cowell said...

HI Jessica,

This video is best for a walkthrough on the app https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17OD7-cCJbY

This year our KG kids were all contributing to a single class blog, which seemed to work really well. We use a locally hosted WordPress site, which is great.

All our blogs are open - have a look http://blogs.wab.edu/gradekgtstudents/

Julianne Thompson said...

Looks like fun! Glad those kindy's are getting a turn and the teachers are becoming braver. I am finding the hands off approach is really working well in my own classroom now. As I don't have time, to show these kids a new tool- I just whack it in front of them and am amazed at what they produce with zero guidance. As they have no tech exposure at all it amazes me how quickly they pick things up.
I am introducing schoolwide blogging in September using WEEBLY of course but I will check out this Easyblogger Jr. Keep up the awesome work...

Jessica said...

Thanks for the comment! Yes, we are moving more and more to include the little ones in our technology journey! I agree... those little ones will amaze you with how much they can do. Just a reminder to all us "old folks" that we get in their way a lot more than we realize. We need to stand back and watch the magic happen! Let me know what you think of Easyblogger Jr!

Phillip Cowell said...

HI Jessica,

In the interests of full disclosure, I am the developer of that app as well as a teacher. If you would like to try it, we currently have an offer where we will make your blog for you. http://www.theeasyappcompany.com/support/makemyblog/

For younger users, it is by far the easiest app for blogging and sharing learning. I can also give you a promo code to try it.

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