Tutorial 4-Task: iPads and Digital Stories

Key ideas from the Jones reading

  • Play based learning to enhance language development (oral and communicatioN)- a new take on traditional play with technology (“symbolic play”)
  • Review of Play school app (free) to develop oral language and reading comprehension to assist students to tell and re-tell a story in an engaging way and increase meaning making. 
  • Key to using this app is teacher scaffolding and preparation to use it to its fullest potential.
  • Using iPad technology resonated with students who had experienced touch screen technology outside of the classroom and the association with Playschool meant most kids had prior knowledge or characters and themes.
  • Interactive app, easy to navigate and provided an exciting different way of learning
  • Engaged learners meant that students worked together and made their own decision
  • Teachers need to focus on pre reading, during reading and after reading experiences to ensure that students are challenged, making connections and  creating their own meaningful stories (via their own comprehension of the texts) – this will increase literacy skills.
  • Students learnt to navigate an iPad and also see their work, reflect on their learning and show other students what they had created.
  • “This tablet technology helped the teacher to scaffold literacy learning and can be a powerful medium for meaning-making” (Jones, 2012, p. 36)

 Jones, M. (2012), iPads and kindergarten- students literacy development, SCAN, 31(4), 31-40.

How you might use this app or a similar one to develop an aspect of literacy ( could be understanding how texts work, viewing skills, speaking and listening etc.) in the classroom, as well as build technology skills for your students.

The play school art app would be a great classroom tool to help students to construct a story. Visually they could use the iPad to explore images that would help to bring the content to life (retell the story). Students would work together, speaking and listening, to create their storyboard and bring the story to life. Exploration of the construct of a story (such as needing a beginning, a middle and an end) as well as exploring characters and settings would enable students to utilise comprehension skills.

In our exploration of the app we constructed our own simple story, using the background and characters provided, adding our voices in order to create a fluid story with a clear beginning, middle and end. As the characters and settings are provided it would mean students could focus on story creation and grammatical features not on creating all characters and settings themselves. Their focus would be on visually and orally creating a new story not on their computer or drawing skills.

Toontastic app: write a short review of it in terms what is does, how easy or hard it is to use and what aspects you could use it for in your classroom.

Hard or easy:

Easy to navigate but limited by the tools you have access to on the free version. Could be hard to use for younger kids as it would be creatively restrictive.

Aspects you could use in classroom:

Overview of story content flow simple (step by step – setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution), this would help students to ensure their story flowed well and they focused on meaning making and grammatical features.
Being able to story with your own voice would mean students could engage more closely with their story
Emoticons for particular parts of the story means students will remain on task with the content they add to that section.
Students are able to get into the story via adding their photos or audio, which would increase engagement and peer participation.
A great activity to construct a pair lesson, where each could build on the work of the other student to create a fluid story at the end. We worked on a section each to build an entire story which worked together.



Tutorial 3-Task: Reading reflection on IWB’s

Reflect on the reading.

What seems to be the most important aspect of using an IWB that will make it a useful classroom tool for learning?

A critical component to successfully implementing the use of IWB’s in a classroom to enhance student learning is the teachers knowledge about the technology and their own skills of how best to use it. It is evident that professional development is necessary to highlight to teachers the most practical and significant ways to implement the technology in the classroom so the teacher may increase their levels of confidence using the technology for instruction. As identified by Miller et al.(2004a) in Higgins (2007) there are six common techniques or ‘manipulations’ which optimize learning and they include: drag and drop; hide and reveal; colour, shading and highlighting; matching equivalent terms; movement or animation; and immediate feedback (pp217). These techniques allow for the teaching of the content to occur differently to the traditional method of teacher directed learning (didactic) and further involve students in the teaching and learning process.

It is important to note that teachers must be aware when using the IWB’s in an interactive sense to avoid teacher centered style of delivery (Higgins, 2007, p.215). The use of IWB’s in a classroom may also provide students with a variety of visual stimuli to assist with learning and make it ‘easier to incorporate and use a range of multimedia resources in lessons such as written text, pictures, video, sound, diagrams and online websites’ (Ekhami, 2002; Johnson, 2002; Levy 2002 in Higgins 2007, p.215). Lesson’s aims and learning objectives must be the primary importance of the lesson whilst adapting resources and the use of IWB’s to optimize student learning. In essence IWB’s in the classroom may be useful to enhance learning so long as the teachers is using the technology in an appropriate manner with well designed activities and tasks which focus on student learning.

Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.

Tutorial 3-Task IWB: Get lost in your own world through this IWB lesson




The Lost Thing- Teri and Emily team teach:

Aim: to explore the book and short film whilst contrasting the differences and similarities of the ‘Everyday World’ vs Sean Tan’s the ‘Lost thing World’.


  • Shaun Tan The Lost Thing – book and short film
  • IWB notebook file
  • Pen/markers and paper or computer design program
  • Digital camera to upload pictures once drawn
  • Computer access to upload profile

1. Having read the book and watched the short film, as a class sort and categorize the words in the list into which fits into the Everyday world and what fits into the Lost thing’s world. Have students come up to the IWB and drag words into the right side of the venn diagram, using justification for their choice. Words that overlap the two worlds can be placed in the hexagon – focus on students justifications and promoting collaborative discussion that unpacks the settings of the two literacies.


2. Working in pairs, use knowledge of the text and short film to create their own character, character profile and justification for which world this character would live in.

Setting the scene:

  • You are to create your own character, pick its world, explore the characters in the book and film and ensure you creatively imagine something new.


  • Working with a partner work together to write up a character profile: name, feelings etc. as per the table (above)
  • Once you have profiled your character draw them in the picture frame (bring them to life visually).
  • Take a digital photo of your character and create a page with the table completed and image of your created character.
  • All images to be collated and presented to the class (whole class discussion)



The IWB task we have created we believe will promote student engagement and utilise technology as “another pedagogical means to achieve teaching and learning goals”(Higgins, Beachamp & Miller, 2007, p. 217) by providing an interactive scaffold for the next activity. Using the IWB raises “the potential of developing pupils’ IWB abilities and allowing them more involvement in classroom decisions” (Higgins et al, 2007, p. 217) and this provides autonomy and promotes more engaged learning.

Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.