Each elementary classroom in ISD200 is equipped with at least seven iPads. Seven connected, mobile devices are likely more “computers” that any teacher has had in their classroom in the past. Yet even when you had only a couple computers, you found a way to get students using them (usually for consumption) by rotating them through stations. Thankfully, with at least seven devices you have greater numbers connected devices and of students consuming, creating, and sharing digitally in classroom - more than ever before.
Creative Cart is built for makers. It is a movable lab of iPads designed to be use in a variety of locations and learning spaces, thus allowing students choice in their preferred learning location. Desks aren’t always best. The focus of the creative cart is on content creation and empowering our students to create digital learning artifacts that demonstrate understanding in a manner that can be easily shared.
David Warlick, an educator from North Carolina, observed that "technology is the pen and paper of our time.” A literate child must be able to read and write. Reading is consumption and it is a critical life-skill. If a child only consumes material by reading and does not write, are they literate? Writing is creation. Reading and writing together complete literacy. Using technology effectively is similar.
iPads are windows to the world. They are great for consumption of information - in fact they alleviate teachers as the sole provider of information in a classroom- but they are an even more powerful tool of creation and contribution. If our students only consume information and media, are they technology literate? Making a variety of digital learning artifacts that showcase understanding is creation. Consuming and creating, like reading and writing, together make for truly technology literate students.
Just like writing, creating gives a student voice and choice. There are a multitude of ways a child can demonstrate understanding beyond a hand-written answer on a worksheet - and I am not talking about a digital worksheet either. Kayla Delzer, second grade teacher and Tedx speaker says “If it’s boring on paper, it will boring on an iPad.” Recording reflection videos and explanation videos are easy, free, and sharable. Creating ChatterKids, Vidras, PicCollages, Tellagamis, Movenotes, Puppet Shows, and iPevo explanation videos let students create, showcase and share their understanding with others.
Pakistani educator Yogi Bhajan said, “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” Consume, create, and share. When I look at apps, I ask myself “Will this app allow our students to experience and make something that was never before possible - can they create a sharable learning artifact that teaches others?” Or, is this another practice and drill digital worksheet that no one will see?
Sharing is crucial. George Couros, a division leader and global speaker on innovation in education says, “When kids do it for a teacher, they want it to be good enough. When they do it for the world, they want it to be the best!" Sharing with authentic audiences, beyond just their teacher, will bring out their best. They know that their work really matters and will be seen by family, friends, educators, and other scholars. Using Seesaw, a class website, and social media (Twitter, Instagram, and others) gives our students relevant and authentic audiences in worldly-accepted modern digital spaces.
The creative cart is built for makers. There will be times that students need to consume and use them for practice, a task likely accomplished by rotating through class iPads. However the primary function of these powerful tools, should be the creation of digital learning artifacts that demonstrate understanding and which are shared with authentic audiences.
Please contact Andy so that we can work together to bring the power of these devices to your student’s learning.
Andrew G. Leiser