As a teacher and tutor I have found the iPad one of the most effective teaching tools. It gains the child’s attention as it is something new and very different from the ‘norm’. It has some great features to encourage learning in a fun, interactive and stimulating way.
My favourite app – Noteshelf
It has to be the Noteshelf app. It can be used to practice all subject areas e.g. maths, literacy and even fine motor skills development as they have to manipulate their movements in a controlled way to guide their writing / drawing. Children can save their very own little set of notes.
Kids love writing with Noteshelf
Yes, writing. With the iPad writing becomes an exciting experience as the experiment making letters with a range of thickness of pens and colours.
Writing in Noteshelf allows children to get a feel for forming letters correctly. It is amazing to see the concentration on their faces and how carefully they watch the shapes of the letters they write. I am comparing this to watching kids write on paper where their eyes and concentration can be anywhere from the bird perched in the classroom windowsill to the other child who is flicking his pencil around the table.
Spellings are no longer a chore with the iPad
Children love writing their words in different colours and then the best bit is when they get to give themselves a stamp for every correct spelling. What a way to develop their confidence and self esteem too.
There are numerous fun stamps to choose from- hearts, stars, even a camera. When the kids do make a mistake they now love the chance to write it out 5 times to correct in a range of colours.
Mental maths is fun too
I ask questions and the kids cannot wait to figure out the answer so they can write it down on the iPad to show me. Again a stamp is always allowed for a correct answer. We even add our own sound effects for when we get a stamp. Recently we made a ‘cha-ching’ sound when we stamped our camera.
Drawing is a great way to encourage imagination in kids
Sometimes if I suggest drawing a picture to represent the favourite part of a story or some other activity, children will rush and throw something on the page to keep the teacher quiet. When I ask my students to draw as part of a lesson on the iPad I get a wonderful creation full of detail. The children cannot wait to get going and experiment with the colours and to tell me all about their creations. This leads to development of their social and language skills too.
I thank the wonderful world of technology for providing so much for teachers and learners. My iPad days are only beginning. I cannot wait to explore the endless opportunities it offers.
Do you know any fun tips for teaching with the iPad? Can anyone suggest any good apps I could try with my students?