Teacher Jessie Forman and her Grade 6/7 students at Seymour Heights Elementary School in North Vancouver are exploring innovative ways for using iPads with Clicker and TouchChat applications. Earlier this year they received a SET-BC Tier 2 Classroom-Based Solution that included iPads with Clicker apps, TouchChat app, Bluetooth keyboards, and an Apple TV. Jessie chose iPads to engage her students in writing and literacy skills because she felt the technology would provide all her students – including ELL students and reluctant and struggling readers – enhanced opportunities for their learning.
The objectives for the Classroom-Based Solution were to increase student motivation for editing written work and completing and submitting assignments. Specifically, Jessie hoped that integrating iPads and Clicker apps into her students’ learning would provide all students equitable access to reading materials in various formats (e.g. Audio books and adapted novels) as well as to foster the inclusion of students that are having difficulty learning into the grade level curriculum by providing alternate output methods. In particular, Jessie wanted the differentiated technology to help with differentiating instruction.
Both Clicker Sentences and Clicker Books are used with her students and have been very successful in providing differentiated writing opportunities for struggling writers. Jessie remarked, “We have one student who is ELL, and using Clicker with that student has been very helpful and the student’s writing on paper has improved because he’s been able to listen to the sentence and construct it in many ways. The app has provided different levels of scaffolding for writing.”
Recently her students used the Clicker Books app to create an Adaptive Book based on a novel. The activity required students to really “look” at their novel, analyze the content, and break it down into important parts. The technology been a great way for engaging students in how to put a story together. Jessie commented, “Regardless of whether it is used for creating an adaptive book, the benefit of using Clicker Books was it gave the students further opportunity to understand story elements (through dissecting their novel) as they created their adaptive book in Clicker Books that could be shared with classmates to read as an alternative to the novel.”
Jessie has also successfully implemented the Clicker Sentences app into her students’ learning and uses many of the learning grid resources that are included with the app.
Her students have developed confidence in their writing through creating stories using the Clicker apps and the technology has provided her students with greater opportunities for collaboration. In particular, the Adaptive Book activity provided inclusion of all students regardless of their level of writing ability. Within groups, students collaborated and shared ideas to create their adaptive book and then shared their work in a literature circle. The students really enjoyed that the activity offered a myriad of inclusive learning opportunities. Students initially used a story arc in which they mapped out their condensed version of their novel for the Adaptive Book on paper. They had to learn how to summarize, condense a novel, and take the most important things and put that into creating the outline for their Adaptive Book in Clicker Books. When students had completed creating their Adaptive Book they were invited to share with their classmates using the Apple TV.