On a sunny day in early November 2017, SET-BC Tier 1 consultants, Carmen Cheung and Debby Lee, presented two 2-hour sessions entitled “Using a Range of Technologies as Tools to Teach to Diversity” and “Showing What They Know” to Education Assistants, ABA Support Workers, and Child and Youth Care Workers in SD#36 (Surrey).
The participants were enthusiastic to learn about and discuss how iPads can be utilized to enhance students’ learning experiences. Most participants mentioned that they had experience using iPads with their students. One common concern expressed was how to prevent students from being distracted by other applications while they are using iPads for a classroom activity.
During the first session of the day, participants were introduced to the Guided Access feature which limits access to a specific app, the length of time they have access to that app, and can even disable touch for parts of the screen. Other iPad features that can help with student learning includes using the keyboard for word prediction and dictation, using the text-to-speech feature to have documents or webpages read to the students, and using simple markup tools on the camera app to create simple activities for students. Participants of this session were given time to reflect on and share their experience in using iPads with students. For those interested in learning about the iPad accessibility features discussed in the session, please visit our SD36 Using a Range of Technologies to Teach to Diversity blog.
The second session was on a variety of iApps that can help Gr. K-7 students demonstrate their learning in the classroom. During this session, three apps – Tellagami, ChatterPix and Explain Everything – were introduced to participants to create fun learning activities. Tellagami is an app that allows students to create an avatar called a Gami and record a message. This iApp is a great tool for students to show what they know, such as creating a book report, telling a short story, reading a poem, and introducing a character in a book or history. Participants were given time to customize their own Gami and record a message to introduce themselves in 30 seconds. To see an example of Tellagami, please watch the short video clip below.
Session participants also had hands-on experience with a role-play activity using ChatterPix. ChatterPix is an app that turns a photo of any object to talk. It is an effective tool that supports students who want to demonstrate their knowledge or send a message verbally. For example, students can do a book report, do self-reflection, create a map of Canada and give each province/territory its own voice, and solve story problems in Math. During the activity time, participants took a photo of an object in the classroom, drew a line to make a mouth and recorded their voice to make the object talk. You can click the video below to see an example of ChatterPix.
Explain Everything is an often used interactive whiteboard that helps students create videos and classroom projects. Its many functionalities make it a versatile tool that can be used in any subject at any grade level. Session participants had an opportunity to learn the app’s features and think about how it can be used to help students demonstrate their learning. One participant said that she could help one of her students show and explain each of the collections of his artwork using Explain Everything. Here is an example of how Explain Everything can be used for students to show what they know.
SET-BC team was pleased to have this opportunity to help SD36 Educational Assistants, ABA Support Workers, and Child and Youth Care Workers build their capacity to use iPads with their students. Session participants are hoping to see more hands-on workshops like these ones in the future. SET-BC will continue to work together with SD36 to help build the district educators’ understanding of how technology can be used to support a range of student learning needs.
To learn more about the technology used in this SETevent, search for it by name in learningSET.