Apr 09

iPad & Garageband via @jamesmichie

iPad 2 + Garageband – FTW!
I’ve been using iPad 2s with my Year 8 class to record narrative writing that they have created. This has been the most straightforward process and the sound quality is fabulous.

I’ve learned along the way too. So here’s a few tips if you wish to use the iPad in the same way. Garageband is super easy to use but the default settings can scupper a recording instantly. Before the students hit record make sure that they select the ‘puzzle piece’ in the top left and set the duration to automatic. Not doing so will result in the recording being cut short. Secondly, select the spanner in the top right and turn off the metronome. The iPad will record all sound so it captures the sound of the metronome in the recording.

With those settings sorted you are ready to record. The UI is beautiful and reacts to what you are doing generating relevant buttons, e.g.: when recording a stop button appears and also an undo button to easily take backwards steps. My students found it very easy to use and they (like I was) were really impressed with the sound quality – so good that it picks up everything.

Here is an example recording (personally, I think that the background noise adds to the ambience):http://audioboo.fm/boos/411808-down-the-rabbit-hole-by-rachael

As to the pedagogical aspects… I had the students draft a piece of narrative writing based on Down the Rabbit Hole by Lewis Caroll and then we recorded them using the iPads. I wanted the students to see how punctuation effected the way the read because after reading the first drafts, I was none too pleased with the standard of their writing.

I uploaded the recordings to the VLE and the students peer assessed each other. Using those comments and some live assessment in Google Docs from me, they created improved narratives with more accurate punctuation and improved vocabulary.

They have now recorded their final drafts which we are going to burn to discs. They are then going to create a CD cover next week with their writing printed up on the reverse. It’s been a great project to end the year with.