Creating content on our iPads is an important part of our new computing curriculum and it begins in the foundation stage. The app I introduced was My Story and the skill was to import photographs on to pages.
Last week we worked on the basics on the iPads- switching them on/off, handling them safely, making videos and taking photographs. These basics are still being covered as part of our review each time we start working on the iPads.
I first introduced My Story on International Day Day and each child created a blank page in the same book, made their mark using different brush tools and recorded their “Mark on the World” statement orally. You can view our book here.
In literacy this week we began adapting the Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear story. We took our iPads on a listening walk around school to capture photographs of places we heard something interesting. The children applied the basic skills of using an iPad whilst I taught how to adapt a story structure.
In my technology groups this week we worked 1 child to 1 iPad in groups of 8 to author our ‘Children, Children, What Do You Hear?’ books. On the working wall children had the prompts they needed to remember the new story structure, key words and app instructions. The children had phonics resources and app instructions on their table too.
We worked through the first page or two as a group, learning what each button did and trying out the different tools for writing. First they inserted the photograph, using the story map to know which photo to find. As a group we recorded the story sentence for that page. We then decided what to write and applied our phonics.
By the second and certainly third page children were more confident to use the icons to navigate the app. Using the pinch-to-size gesture was a new skill too, and placing media on the page is a usable space became a talking point; “can you fit your writing on the page if your picture is there?”
Again, I noticed that the perception that children “are the experts” wasn’t necessarily true. Children use iPads differently at school to home and I found that content creation needs careful planning and resourcing. The skills needed to make a book on the iPad are the same skills as making a book with paper. Child need a clear workflow that can be rehearsed and repeated. As this activity supported literacy objectives, the work flow included segmenting words and recognising graphemes.
You can see our ‘Children, Children, What Do You Hear?’ books here:
Our stories have been shared with connected classes who will read them on their iPads at school.
We will need to use this app a few more times to become secure in it’s features. Now that the children know the basics, our iPads can be used for provision under the “guided access” feature to set the app to the camera or My Story.