After visiting with a 4th grade teacher, I left with a few interesting thoughts. The teacher was showing me how one of her students professed to using 28 different apps to create one project. The end project was an iMovie and sure enough this student had a ton of different ways that he had made his images. He used everything from Pic Collage to Notability, Telegami and Chatter Pix. The video itself was nothing short of a montage of images that expressed his ideas and understanding of the topic. What was interesting is the evidence of being able to tackle a project and think differently about it.
When students first start using iPads and their task is to create an iMovie, often times students will save google images and then throw those into a storyboard. What this student did and many others like him in his class was to create their own images. Not only did he create his own drawings and images but he used a ton of different apps to do so. I can appreciate this on a couple different levels.
One, is that I myself sometimes become frustrated when I am trying to find an image that expresses my idea. I have begun drawing what I want instead. I use apps like Notability, Explain Everything, and Paper 53 to create my drawings. Even though I am sure my artwork isn’t perfect, I know it’s mine and I don’t have to worry about copyright laws.
Second, I love that kids who are immersed in iPad technology are developing the skills to think differently about how to complete a task. No longer are they tied to paper, pencil and crayons. They have a tool to create anything they can imagine to express their understanding and ideas. Thier only limitation is their imagination. The world needs individuals who can look at a project from all different angles and experiment with a variety of tools to complete a task.
And third, these kids are learning from each other because they are all doing something different. The expectation that assignments must look the same upon completion has been turned upside down with effective technology, pedagogy, and tools. No longer does everyone’s work look the same, and no longer is the evaluation of a task a percentage or letter grade. Whether you have iPads or are a BYOD environment, attempt to create lessons that allow for creativity.
If you open the door to the possibilities of student expressing their understanding in a multitude of ways you will be amazed at what they will come up with.
Written by Jennifer Krzystowczyk