Sunday, March 17, 2013

Mindmapping with Kindergarten

We love to introduce new iPad apps to our kindergarten students. We try to think of apps that they can create with that will also help encourage their written language as well as foster some basic reading skills.

As part of the themed learning, our kindergarten students have been learning about food groups. As a centre activity we thought it might be a good idea to ask them to sort some food into the different groups. We wondered about how we could document this to show their progress. The iPad camera would come in useful for this activity to take photos of their choices.

We used Popplet to build a simple mind-map using the iPad and its camera. The students used printed pictures and a variety of plastic toy food to sort and choose from each of the four basic food groups.

We have the paid version of this app but the Popplet Lite version works just as well. The only catch with the free app is that you can only make one Popplet at a time.

The following images are the results of about 30 minutes of work with 8 students. The students did this with a partner and it worked really well. We also tried this same (or similar) activity with older buddy classes. The buddies were able to help the kinders get a lot more achieved in the same amount of time.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Voices on a Wall

This is a post that has also been posted on and also follows-up on this post QR - Quick-Response

I have been working with a couple of different classes to experiment with using QR codes to share ideas and work that we have created. 

Text to QR Code
The first class we played with QR codes to share 'secret messages'. As part of the heath curriculum, we want to talk about our qualities and inefficiencies, our dreams and our aspirations.

  1. First we used Microsoft Word and Apple Pages to type up some text.
  2. Next we copied the text and pasted it we copied the text.
  3. QRStuff generates a QR code and then we download.
  4. The QR code, in the form of an image, can then be pasted into another document and printed.
  5. These particular QR codes could either have the text embedded right in the code (which would mean the mobile device would not even require an Internet connection) or the user could choose to have the text uploaded to a QR Stuff Server (this would require Internet but also teacher discretion to ensure no personal data would be included). The only real difference would be in the visual appearance of the QR code itself.

Audio Recording to QR Code
After we learned and understood how QR codes worked and saw how visually appealing he wall display was. We thought it would be cool to make different kind of gallery on a bulletin board - We would attempt to put student voices on the wall. With parent interviews coming up, it would be a great way to showcase some great work produced by our students. This project would require writing and recording voice using 1 of 2 apps on the iPad.
  1. Students first needed to produce some writing. The teacher used some health related writing around 'bullying' and 'it's OK to be me'.
  2. Using an iPad, students recorded their voice using either GarageBand for iPad or Voice Recorder for iPad.
  3. We then co-created success criteria and a rubric for students to make quality recordings.
  4. Students published their audio recording and then shared it with the teacher.
  5. The teacher then uploaded the audio file to our web site server (CBE Project server) - the file would need to be accessible online by a URL.
  6. Once uploaded, the teacher generated the QR Code (with and saved back to a shared folder on the school server. 
  7. Finally Students created posters to share their work.

Below are a couple of examples of our Voice Gallery QR codes

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Animated Air

Animation is so much fun and so engaging!

We have recently finished an animation project using StopMotion Studio and DoInk Animation and Drawing for iPad. Our students (99% of them) really enjoyed this engaging way to present what they have learned and also strengthen some new knowledge.

The following videos are some of the examples of some experiments they did in class to show the different properties of air. The following videos are examples of what they made. There are more examples to come and also more on the assessment piece that we tied into this learning.