Today we looked at the use of iPads within the classroom and, in particular, the use of the Book Creator app on the iPad.
The use of iPads within the classroom can be both positive and negative. iPads have massive potential to offer a different way of learning for children and can aid children who find writing difficult, they are very east devices to use and are ideal for reading. The iPad offers built in, easy to access, audio visual tools such as the camera, video and voice recorder tools and these aid creativity within children and mean that there are endless creative opportunities.
iPads, when used correctly and efficiently within the classroom, can be very beneficial for teaching and learning. Children tend to enjoy and engage with the devices and using the devices in group settings is great for teaching collaborative working.
The Scottish Government (2016) has four essential objectives within the Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technology report. These objectives are:
- Develop the skills and confidence of teachers;
- Improve access to digital technology for all learners;
- Ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery;
- Empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching.
All of these objectives need to be met before digital technology can be effectively enhanced within the teaching and learning environment. It is not enough to simply throw money at schools and buy equipment, teachers must adapt to new technologies and ensure that they are confident with all digital technologies that are being taught. Management are also a part of this solution and can ensure that all teachers are confident and offered any training needed to deliver effective lessons using digital technologies, including iPads. It is unfair to assume that everyone is “digitally native”, and thus, teachers and learners must be taught how to use digital technologies from an early level. This will ensure that pupils are afforded the greatest level of education in the subject.
Our task today was to create a summary of a well-known story using Book Creator. The class began with a PowerPoint presentation and an input from the lecturer regarding Book Creator. This was useful as it gave me an idea of what Book Creator was like to use. During the PowerPoint there was a tutorial for Book Creator, it was a good idea to use the app along with the tutorial as this allowed me to familiarise myself with the app.
Book Creator is an app used to create eBooks on the iPad. It has a simple user interface with various tools including the ability to import sound, photos, videos and text into the project as well as the ability to make the project interactive by adding videos and buttons for the user to press. This range of tools makes Book Creator an excellent digital technology for enhancing teaching and learning within the classroom, the multimodality of the app makes it very engaging and the idea of creating their own book will encourage children’s imagination. It is also an excellent tool for comprehension work and consolidation of learning as children can answer questions posed to them in an eBook and can also create their own ending, or create a prediction, for an eBook. Children can also work in pairs or groups to create eBooks which encourages working collaboratively with others and turn-taking.
I chose to use a book that my 10-year-old daughter often reads which was Michael Morpurgo’s “Fox Friend”. This is a book suitable for some first level children and also for second level children. It is quite a short story and is easy to read.
Having looked at the Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes I chose to focus on two second level outcomes:
I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by responding to literal, inferential, evaluative and other types of questions, and by asking different kinds of questions of my own. LIT 2-07a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.28)
When listening and talking with others for different purposes, I can:
- share information, experiences and opinions
- explain processes and ideas
- identify issues raised and summarise main points or findings
- clarify points by asking questions or by asking others to say more. LIT 2-09a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.29)
The creation of eBooks within the classroom is a very adaptable activity and can be linked to many areas across the curriculum including:
I have the opportunity to choose and explore an extended range of media and technologies to create images and objects, comparing and combining them for specific tasks. EXA 2-02a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.61)
I can create, adapt and sustain different roles, experimenting with movement, expression and voice and using theatre arts technology. EXA 2-12a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.65)
I can extend and enhance my knowledge of digital technologies to collect, analyse ideas, relevant information and organise these in an appropriate way. TCH 2-01a (Education Scotland, n.d. P.305)
I chose to focus on second level outcomes because I haven’t looked into second level in detail yet and wanted to challenge myself in this task. I was aware that, by challenging myself, I would have to ensure that I asked questions geared to the correct level and make the eBook suitable to second level. In past classes I have worked on early and first level activities which were geared more towards younger learners.
My summary comprised of the short story with lots of thinking points and talking points within it. I also included the task of creating an ending to the story at the end of the summary to encourage creativity and imagination within the children. The questions posed to the children were about how the characters were feeling, how the child may feel if they were in the same situation, what the child might do in that situation and why the child thinks the characters may be feeling or doing something, this was to encourage the sharing of ideas and opinions and also to ensure that there was comprehension of the story. The completed story can be viewed below.
I found it fairly easy to create the story on Book Creator. It is a very simple app to use and the “controls” and “tools” can be picked up easily. I envisage that this would be an effective tool within the classroom because it is so easy to use. Children can also watch a tutorial, as I did, and use the app whilst watching the tutorial which makes using the app even simpler. The photos below show a visual representation of my work and some of the tools available on Book Creator. I imagine that children would find Book Creator very engaging and it is an excellent tool for teaching across the curriculum. Book Creator is an excellent tool for teaching collaborative working, turn-taking and many more social skills.
Overall, I really enjoyed using Book Creator and found it very engaging and I enjoyed working on my own book. I was happy working on my own for this task as I found that I was able to solely concentrate on my own ideas. I will definitely use Book Creator as a teaching and learning tool within the classroom.
- Andrews, D. (2012) An Apple for the teacher: are iPads the future in class? The Guardian. [Online] 13 August. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2012/aug/13/schools-secondary-schools[Accessed: 9 February 2019].
- Education Scotland. (n.d.) Curriculum for Excellence. [Online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf. [Accessed: 5 February 2019].
- Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/[Accessed: 5 February 2019].