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.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/toontastic/id404693282?mt=8

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