Aim: To introduce students to the iPad, focusing on the analysis of 2 websites.
My Year 7 class had already heard rumours last week that they might be getting to use the iPads in their English lessons and were desperately excited to get their hands on one. Well today was the day and I have to admit it was one of the best experiences I have had using the technology in the classroom so far.
Part of the Term 2 SoL for Year 7 involves looking at non-fiction texts which has previously involved photocopying a variety of pages for students to see or sharing a group website on the whiteboard (not the best way to conduct analysis of such an interactive text). Therefore, I felt introducing the iPads on this lesson would really benefit the process of analysis, allowing students to interact with the text in the ways it was meant to be. I was not wrong! The iPads were the ideal learning tool for this lesson. Students accessed the websites themselves easily and worked exceptionally well in groups to identify features and conduct an analysis of two particular sites. No 2 week waiting time for a computer room, no strained eyes looking at a projection and definitely no overuse of handouts!.
One of the biggest worries for me, and I’m sure for others also, was whether the iPad would take over ‘proper’ reading and writing, something which I don’t think should ever happen. However, the ease at which the year 7 class were accessing and investigating the texts, using their own books to record notes, was fantastic! It was also interesting to note that there was not one instance of a student being off task using any other kind of app or camera/video function. As I continue to trial the use of iPads with this class, it will be interesting to note if this changes in any way!