Sharing iPad Creations: First Grade

Whether an iPad is shared or assigned individually, it would be a shame if the student work didn’t find a place to be shared with an authentic audience. Not only do students love that but it can be invaluable in the reflection/review/reteaching cycle. See iPad workflow below:

iPad Workflow

iPad Workflow

In a 1:1 situation, this sharing is all the more critical as the student work is a great deal, no matter what the grade level. Also, given that a picture speaks more than words, and taking of pictures and videos forms a large component of a daily learning curve in a 1:1, all those media items need to be stored in a secure, shareable medium.

Like in any problem solving situation, and in a math solving situation, if a student is just given the formula or steps, what percentage of the students will truly try to understand or conceptualize the problem at hand? So it is with any given situation. So, if I were to teach students steps to share media items, how would they understand anything unless they understood the big picture? And how can this be conveyed to first graders, all of six years old and how can one find a connection so that students truly understand what they are doing and why? And how can one minimize the clicks and the steps within the given systems and user interfaces?

Keeping all the above factors in mind, I was brainstorming the lesson with the first grade teachers today. The result was highly rewarding. Following is what we did. With four adults in the room, and with every student engaged and having “got it”, I must say we all left feeling a sense of accomplishment:

  1. We use Schoology, the district-adopted LMS, which is a secure medium, where students can create portfolios and which has a really robust app to use on iOS devices.
  2. In each of the homeroom courses, we thought of the easiest way that students could upload their creations through the year. The least cumbersome for the students, we decided, was to create a media album for each student in the class. So we created a media album with the student name in each course.This was ready to go before the lesson.
  3. Students have taken a variety of photos and videos (including reading videos) in the past month that school started.
  4. The iPads had been logged in for each student. See a previous blog post. The iPads stay logged in for each of the students throughout the year. At some point in the course of the year, when the students are developmentally more ready, we will teach them the process of logging into the system.
  5. Connection: This is election week at our school where the entire student body votes for their Student Government. The student candidates had delivered outdoor speeches last week which the entire school had attended. Based upon pictures from that session, I had created a trailer that I had uploaded to Schoology for all students to see so that we could publicize the election event. I started the session by showing the students the movie trailer. They were immediately hooked.
  6. We then talked about how I had created the trailer on my iPad and how I didn’t have my iPad with me, but was showing them the same through a completely different computer on the SMART Board. It was interesting to hear the various answers from them all. A few of them talked about a wire connecting my iPad to the computer, they mentioned the words upload – very good thinking on their part. I then showed the screen and asked them to see what system we were on, etc. A few of them guessed that the movie was on Schoology, not quite knowing what the system is, but knowing that the app resides on their iPad and that the system was playing the movie. This then lead to the discussion on how they could also upload their creations so that their parents could view them.
  7. The first part of this was really hard. Guiding them through the navigation steps, with Reflector suddenly crashing and holding up an iPad, having 44 first graders following along. However, within minutes everyone had uploaded at least one media item (several asked if they could upload a video instead of a picture). Phew!
  8. Once this first upload was done, we reviewed the steps, reminding them how many times they needed to check the green check mark. I then told the students that they could upload 2-3 more media items but they were to help each other and could not ask any of the adults. They absolutely did it.
  9. When the students were all satisfied with all their uploads, we did another review round on the navigation steps, again showing with our fingers how many times they would check the green check mark.
  10. With this big hurdle completed, we can now look to a few weeks down the road when we teach the students how to caption photos, how to comment, and more. Lots of digital citizenship and learning in a secure medium while completing the iPad workflow cycle and with several satisfied producers and consumers.
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