Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Introducing the iPads ... sharing our learning via photographs

On Day 2 with my five year olds, I introduced the iPads as a tool to assist with their learning.  Having seen last year the importance of routines and careful scaffolding we started by watching the iPad safety video we created last year - a "how to" guide for using the iPads and carrying them around the school and classroom.

As with last year, we started with just the camera this year and learnt how to take a photo - it may seem "easy" but there are important learning milestones:
  • Which icon is the camera
  • How do we hold the device to safely take a photo
  • How to take just ONE photo
  • How to make sure what you want to photograph is actually in the picture
  • How to make sure the image is crisp and not blurry
After a session yesterday photographing our friends and some plastic bugs, today during maths we were able to use the iPads to create an image to share our learning about numbers.

Using a tens frame,  our class teddy bears and a number fan, learners were encouraged to show their understanding of a number.  I carefully modelled the learning a few times and we had some tries before we got the iPads out to document it.

Here, Whare is taking a photo to represent the number 5.  He has carefully counted out 5 bears and placed them on his tens frame.  He has then found the number 5 on his number fan and placed it in a way so that he is able to photograph both the teddy bears and the number.  

Photo by Whare

Its important to note that this is the first time we did this activity, and while some photos were exactly as instructed, other learners had difficulty ensuring the photo looked exactly as they wanted it to.  These photos by another learner were not as successful - in the first photo, one of the bears is not really able to be seen, and in the second, the number fan was up the wrong way and the number displayed in the photo was of a 0 (rather than the 2 which is on the other end of the fan). 

Using the Apple TV we were able to look at a selection of photos and talk about how we can improve when we attempt the same activity tomorrow.  Importantly, through revisiting, the learners were able to see the differences and I expect this to be reflected in their photographs tomorrow - after all, this is only Day 3 and they are all very new to school.

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