Creativity abounds in a Grade 3/4 class at Ecole Sandy Hill Elementary where teacher, Nancy Desormeaux, has embarked on a SET-BC Tier 2 Classroom Based Solution. A morning spent in her classroom provided a snapshot of an animated group of students and engaging teacher who are jumping in to use technology in a myriad of ways to support and nurture learning.
An enthusiastic and risk-taking teacher, Nancy has already embraced the use of technology in her French Immersion classroom using a Smartboard and Smart Notebook software to deliver interactive and collaborative lessons. With the introduction of the iPad with Pictello app to the classroom, Nancy is now able to provide her students with yet another way to produce work that demonstrates their learning in a multi-sensory way.
Nancy’s plans were to use the iPads to engage students in Project Based Learning in a cross-curricular endeavour. In the French Immersion classroom, however, the first hurdle was to find an app that would support the creation of student books using instructions, supports and feedback in the French language. The Pictello app, by Assistiveware, met the criteria.
Altering the general settings on the iPad changed the instruction language to French and allowed for the French keyboard to support French word prediction. From there, the Pictello app settings allowed for a selection of downloadable French voices, from all areas of the French speaking world, to read back student’s writing in an authentic dialect. With relatively few setting alterations, students are now able to work within the entirely French-language based app.
At the moment, Nancy’s students are using Pictello to capture their understanding of First Nations culture and explorers. Using a combination of photography, videos, word-prediction, speech-to-text, text-to-speech and voice recording supports, students will ultimately be able to present a final product that showcases their learning and acquired knowledge.
During a recent morning in the classroom, students were led through a lesson that demonstrated all manner of inclusivity. Students used the Smartboard, pencil, paper and iPads to work on the various portions of their projects. Some students worked with vocabulary that had been generated on the Smartboard, others drew and worked in their notebooks to begin writing about their First Nations character, while another group began collecting images using the iPad. All students had a clear understanding of what was expected of them, happily worked at their tasks, helped each other and shared their ideas. Students working with the iPads were engaged and motivated to use their turn with the equipment to produce the best they could and help each other become quickly proficient with the app. It was a highly active and productive learning atmosphere with students keen to show what they were doing and explain their thinking.
What a wonderful way to spend a morning! It will be our pleasure to watch this class grow and learn using iPads and French Pictello as a learning support. BRAVO NANCY ET LES ELEVES A L’ECOLE SANDY HILL!