Yesterday along with one of our Prep Teachers I had the opportunity to visit Mitcham Primary School, in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs.
Mitcham PS is a mid sized primary school with approximately 400 students. They run a 1:1 iPad program in Prep and are currently looking to expand that to Prep-2 in 2012. In addition to this Mitcham will also be running a 1:1 Netbook in their 3-6 areas, meaning that essentially the entire school will be 1:1. They also have a great deal of IWB’s located around the school as well as touch screens tv’s.
The focus for our visit was to witness first hand the outstanding things that they are doing in relation to integrating mobile technology, in this case iPads, in to their cohort of prep classes. As we will be running a Prep 1:1 iPad program ourselves in 2012, we wanted to see the preps at Mitcham in action, and that is exactly what we did!
Whilst there we spent the morning talking with their leading teacher, Andrew, about their process of integrating iPads in to teaching and learning practices. Bev, one of the schools innovative prep teachers, allowed us in to het room whilst her little ones were busily working away. It was outstanding to witness the prep students using their iPads in class and to see first hand just how the devices were being used.
To see the preps being able to navigate through the device, to select app’s, and to utilise the features of the app’s to create a piece of work was outstanding. In a nutshell, the preps were investigating particular letter sounds and blends. They were sequencing shorts stories that contained these sounds, for example everyones favourite, Jack and Jill, and then were utilising the iPad device to illustrate the story, in order or what occurred, and then then retell what was happening in each picture via recording their voices.
Obviously, the focus and learning intention for this lesson was the letter sound and blend formations. However it was the process that was the interesting part for us. To see the students, aged 4 and 5, manipulating a piece of mobile technology and using several app’s (Doodle Buddy and Story Robe just to name two), all to create a narrated story, that they had illustrated themselves, was fantastic.
It’s always interesting to hear people mention that the iPad are a ‘consuption’ device. Yesterday was a pure example of how that is/was not the case!
A huge thanks to Andrew and Bev for their hospitality and time. It was greatly appreciated and extremely helpful! Keep up the outstanding work!