Yesterday we had a great opportunity in taking our all Year 6 students to Sovereign Hill to see how mobile technology, and obviously in our case iPads, could be best utilised by students!

The idea for this came from having members of the Sovereign Hill education team visit our College early on in the term and discuss not only iPad use by students, but effective and transformative use. We wanted students to be creative and collaborative and demonstrate this via the work they were to complete. We wanted the ip[ads to be used as a tool to assist their learning but also be used in innovative ways to record and gain a greater understanding of what they were to be part of and see.

Stephanie and her team suggested we bring our year 6 students to Sovereign Hill to see how they themselves chose to use their devices to support and enhance their visit. The overall aims of the visit were:

  • To establish an understanding of how students with iPads would choose to use their devices while on excursion and to complete follow up tasks.
  • To develop our knowledge of iPad applications that are useful to students and teachers on excursion.
  • To create a bank of examples of effective use of iPads on excursion that can be used as exemplars for other teachers.
  • To understand how teachers and students are currently using iPads as educational tools so that our program and resource development can support these learners.

Eureka!

Prior to attending Sovereign Hill with the students, our Year 6 team leader, Michelle, and I visited and spent the day at Sovereign Hill to investigate and plan what we could have the students doing with their devices throughout the day. Of course, we wanted the kids to take ownership of this however we also so wanted some set tasks related to the displays and demonstrations available that were linked to those things, however offered students choice in how they were to present their work!

We felt that it would be a great idea to develop an eBook that we could share with all students to assist them through their visit. This eBook can be downloaded below in a PDF format. The teachers spent some time with the kids prior to the visit to ‘hook’ them in to the activities and tasks directed their way so that they had an understanding of what it was we were asking them to do.

The day involved the students being booked in to several of the many outstanding programs that Sov. Hill has to offer and it was this throughout the day that perhaps proved to be our downfall. The students had very little time to explore and go off on their own to use their devices as we would have liked, and what time they did have solo was spent either in the candy Store or the bakery! Cannot blame them for that!

Over the coming week students will be aiming to complete some of the tasks within the eBook and then share these with their teachers and others.

Thanks to Steph and her dedicated team for the opportunity. Thanks to the years teachers and supporting teachers taht attended and made the day as successful as it was!

Lastly, the students will be completing a survey set for them to determine how they felt their devices could have best assisted them in completing set tasks as well as documenting their day.

If you have any questions about what we were involved in, please leave a comment! Thank you!

SovHillEx2012