Sometimes it is the simplest of tech that can have the most impact. This term I have been looking at ways of embedding our iPads into classrooms and encouraging staff to dabble in technology.
The first thing to make our lives easier was to burn all of our assembly CDs onto iTunes. This meant we could use any song, from any of our collection, at any time without resorting to the old Coomber machine cluttering up the hall (we have a semi decent AV suite fitted!). This has made all our performances easier to stage as we can simply select a song from the iTunes library and play it out.
Secondly was getting YouTube into school. Our LA filters internet sites by exception, and I only knew this from my previous job. Getting YouTube enabled saves teachers time (although make sure you are using the Chrome browser with the AdBlock extension- my colleague didn’t and had to explain what the ClearBlue advert was all about!) and effort downloading clips from YouTube via a plethora of dodgy sites.
Our big win though has been the use of iMovie to show off on our website. Coupled with the camera this is one of the best uses for the iPad in a primary school. Whether you make a full blown movie or simply a trailer then the possibilities are relatively endless. Today we made a time-lapse film showcasing the culmination of an art/PHSE project that has been going on in school. Adding some titles, a few stills and 5 minutes of editing makes a wonderful film for our website. I heartily encourage you to play with iMovie over the holidays; set up your iPad to take a timelapse of your children (if you have them) opening their presents on Christmas Day then edit it all together for family that cannot be there.
Ultimately we can only get better at using tech if we understand it ourselves. I’m fortunate enough to have the time to explore new apps and see how I could use them in my practice. I realise others don’t always have this luxury so see it as part of my role as Computing Coordinator to help others to realise the potential the iPad can bring their classroom.
Happy Christmas to you all…