Blog Ending

At this time I will be discontinuing to post here on our iPad usage.

I am so glad to have iPads for the children in my program to use. I will continue to get training for using technology with young children. I will continue to pull in new apps evaluating them for our usage, replacing old apps as appropriate and moving our usage more and more into production.

Special events around the iPad will be posted on the main blog , on Facebook page and on twitter.



Fine Tuning My App Evaluation Toolkit

It’s been a few years now of following other educators using iPads in their classroom and exploring a variety of apps across my mixed ages group (primarily used by preschools). Others have shared their “Technology Evaluation Toolkits”, so of course I have grabbed bits and pieces that work for my purpose of having iPads in my program.

I started here:

  • the ease of use
  • how it engaged a child
  • did it support learning goals
  • does it offer custom settings or different levels
  • feedback – encouraging, appropriate for child’s age, how it corrects
  • information is correct

Here is what I have added:

  • approaches to learning (attention, flexible thinking, persistence)
  • Social-Emotional (cooperation, collaboration)
  • appropriate cognitive skills
  • usable by non/pre-readers
  • bias free / gender neutral
  • clear choices and ease of navigating, independent usage after introduction by adult
  • skills build as develop competency
  • support creativity
  • content and graphics appealing to children
  • activities match appropriate attention span levels
  • ability to have multiple players
  • adds to variety of apps

I have found having a core group of apps always loaded on the iPads and then rotating others in depending on interests and academic areas working on at the time works best for me.

Core Apps: These cover math, science, literacy, social-emotional, creativity across the ages

Leo’s Padleo's pad  Cookie Doodle 2013-02-08_1631 Spot the Dot 2013-02-08_1635  Bugs&Buttons2 bugsbuttons Soundrop dropMath Bingo  math Kindergarten Bingokbingo

LetterSchool 2013-02-08_1641

Newest additions:

Phonetic Birds birds $1.99/ Marc Sockel ~ This apps is all about recognizing and comparing sounds. It has been reviewed by many for developing auditory skills and by others for music. I think of it as an auditory training app. The game play helps children to really listen for changes in sound patterns. What was confusing at first was figuring out what one had to do in ordering or grouping the birds. This encouraged group cooperation. There are three different ways to use the app:  Adventure Play, Quick Play, and Random Play. We are using in Adventure Play.

Rocket Speller rocket Free/ Little Big Thinkers ~ This app is described as a spelling app for 3-7 yr. olds. It is a spelling app that shows an image and the word spelled out like many other apps. The difference for my group is they have to place a second set of letters over the first spelling out the word. The reward is making your own rocket once enough words are completes. For me I appreciate that my youngest are using this and building letter awareness. When you click on a letter the name is provided. They are also getting awareness of lower case letter forms. My older school-age are using this app while covering up where the word appears and trying to spell themselves and then self checking.

ChatterPix Kids chatter Free/ Duck Duck Moose ~ This app has totally opened the creative doors for all ages here. Take a photo of whatever you wish + Place a line somewhere on the photo + Record up to 30 seconds = You get a digital story with the line turning into a moving mouth while your recording plays. We’ve been exporting to the iPad camera roll and going from there. For my youngest it’s about taking photos and just saying silly words. Hearing themselves back is such an experience. My older are drawing pictures and recording stories about them. The biggest project was taking 1 photo and reusing it for each character to record separately. Once exported they edited in iMovie and ended up with a 2 minute pieces. I’m planning on using for assessments by mouthing the children when pictured with a project they have completed as they expound on their project.

There are also always 2 ebooks or interactive stories on the page.