September comes around again and our rooms are full of energy. A ‘beginners mindset’ can be seen everywhere around school. It’s a positive place to be as we all look towards a new year ahead. In Foundation, we are busy establishing routines and learning what skills our youngest learners in school have. Each year I see a step forward in the confidence, and maturity, that children have when using technology. Skip back a couple of years and the excitement to be on an iPad meant snatching it from someone’s hands and running it to the corner of the room. With teachers in professional learning discussions, I had conversations about turn-taking and rule setting when introducing iPad to young learners. But this week, with my new cohort of 4 year olds, I am seeing a much more mature approach to technology and how they know it is readily available in their world. It is embedded in their life and expected to be a part of their learning environment. This doesn’t mean they know how to use apps like Book Creator, but they are a little more skilled in navigating and handling these devices.
As with anything in the classroom within the first few weeks of school, it’s about small steps. The same goes when using technology. This week I introduced Book Creator to the class. Earlier in the week I made good use of our large Clevertouch screen and Reflector 2, I shared the pages of a book I had written on my iPad. This was a simple book about learning behaviours but it modelled how a book on a screen works. When it was time to show them how to make a book using Book Creator they had had good exposure to a multi-touch book and could make sense of the authoring process on screen).
We set out to create a class book all about us. The book was linked to our International Dot Day theme and each child had a page dedicated to them. I modelled how to use 2 of the tools in Book Creator: the pen and sound recorder. They saw me change the colour and thickness of the pen in the menu options. They also watched how to change the colour of the page.
We wrote a couple of pages together as a class, with several children having the iPad on their lap on the carpet whilst we looked at their screen being mirrored to the Clevertouch screen.
I kept the iPad mirrored to the screen throughout the day as each child added their own page to the book. This helped me see what was happening on the iPad and also helped keep a spotlight on the activity, children could watch others busy at work creating their page. We had other iPads out for children to practise using Book Creator and just 1 iPad to make the class book.
I was surprised at how every child worked on their page independently. Usually there are a few times I would need to remind someone how to find the pen in the + menu, or help decide with button says ‘yes’ or ‘no’. When children finish drawing or writing with the pen, they forget they need to press ‘done’. This year, none of that happened. They had understood all of that from our carpet time. It was obvious to them!
The book that we have written on our iPad will be published too. That’s the reason we create books, for the to be read. We make books on an iPad to be shared beyond our class. A digital book can be published online. Our class book for International Dot Day shares our ideas on how we will make our mark on the world so we will publish it to the iTunes Store for our Connected Classes across Australia, Europe and America to read.
Find out more about Connected Classes Across Continents in these posts:
Find out more about International Dot Day in these posts:
Find out more about Book Creator in these posts: