Since our students have their Google Drive accounts, I had them sign into their Google Drive account on the iPad. Throughout the two weeks I was in this classroom, I had the students put a sticky note on their iPad so they had the same iPad every day. You could also number the iPads in some way and have them keep the same number iPad so that they do not have to keep signing in to the iPad each day. What ever works for you. Once they were signed into their google Drive account, I created a folder and shared it with all of the students in that class. That way anything that I put in that folder will be shared with that class so they can easily find it.
It also helped the students see the ideas of their classmates as the story evolved. They had to put a lot of detail into one sentence so they could help guide the story the way they wanted, but still help the story flow. After we finished writing the story, we went back as a class and read the story. There were still some mistakes made, but it gave them a chance to see the revising and editing process from a different perspective. The students really enjoyed the process of writing the story together and they were very engaged as students came up with new sentences to change the course of the story. I would make sure that I gave a little more direction at the beginning of the lesson to make sure students do not keep clicking and typing in the middle of the story, but for the most part it turned out very well. Tomorrow I will talk about another great way to collaborate with your students in the classroom that is probably a little more fun for the students and they are still learning!
Since we were working on narrative and expository writing, I had the students write a story together. Within the folder, I created a word document. With that folder being shared with everyone in the class, they were all able to see the document I created. Each student opened that document on their own iPad and we were all able to see the same document at the same time. I had one student at a time write a sentence in the story. While one student was writing, the other students could see what they were writing and were able to pick out the mistakes that they made. It was a very interesting lesson, because you could see the thought process of the students as they wrote. Some of the students were able to write their sentence quickly without having to go back and change anything. While other students had to think about what they were writing for a while and even go back to change it a couple times. It gave me as a teacher a better idea of who was a good writer and who needed some more guidance in their writing skills.
If you haven't read the last two days of my blog, go back and check them out. It is a few different things I have tried to help a teacher implement iPads into their classroom. Today is a continuation of that and I am going to go over the next step of using the iPads to collaborate in the classroom.
All of these activities are the same thing you would be doing with your students in any other lesson which I think is a good thing. It is easy for a teacher and their class to start using the technology and learning about it before they try to completely change their classroom. I know that using technology is scary for a lot of teachers, but if you start off slow and do some easy lessons to begin with, it will get easier as you use different technology more and more. Stop back tomorrow to see some other activities that we did along with some things I have not tried in the classroom!
Their favorite part was the Story Starters where they would spin the wheel to come up with an idea for a story. They may have played with the buttons to spin the wheel more than needed, but they wanted to find a story starter that interested them. Once they chose their story starter, they came up with some great stories! They were able to type their story right there on the page. The only problem was that we were not able to print their stories since I did not have airprint set up for the ipads. I am not sure if it would print from the webpage anyway. The students worked on the Show me, Don't Tell Me activity for a couple of days during their reading/writing time. When it came time to write their stories, they wrote them in the note pad on the iPad. It was quick and easy to open the notepad and have them get started. It was good that they could start and stop at anytime and not lose any of their work. The same issue came up that we were not able to print their stories. Once the students started to get the hang of using the iPads, I started logging them into their Google drive accounts. Our district has Google accounts set up for all students so they were able to log in and start writing their stories. This way, they could easily share their story with their teacher. If we wanted, we could also print their stories by logging in to their account from a computer and it would be right there!
Jacob has been teaching for 9 years. 5 years as a 4th grade teacher and 4 years as an instructional technology specialist (iTech). He is sharing some of his experiences and technology that could help other teachers in the classroom.