Apps

Why does Canadian International School Bangalore likes these Apps for Early Years Learning?

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Favorite apps for our Early Years Literacy centers

For 1 hour/week, the pre kindergarten, junior kindergarten, and senior kindergartens use iPads as a tool for enhancing litercy. We like I Write Words, as we move the crab around to form larger and small letters. The lite version has about 5-6 letters and 3-4 words, but it is really great for junior kindergarten letter formation. We also like ABC pocket phonics. This apps combines letter name, sound, and writing to start and the moves to spelling words by recognizing the sounds that combine to make the word. The “Yeah!” positive feedback makes the kids so proud.

Students have enjoyed taking self portraits and using the special effects of Photobooth. Some are so quick to decide and mirroring seemed most popular! No one was too shy! All have taken their own and group photos.

Phonics vowels build literacy by having students spell words. Reward stickers are earned after 8 rhyming words are spelled correctly. Blended sounds are introduced in this app. The lite version has met our needs in this first 6 weeks of iPad classes.

Finally, using the Shape Builder HD zoo animal puzzles has been a great, fun way to end each iPad session. Students build fine motor skills too.

All of these apps work without Internet access (our ES doesn’t have wifi yet). All of these apps are free. Which free apps do you recommend?

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iPad training 2 at CIS-1 hours on a Friday afternoon.

Shot with iPad on a Sunday afternoon drive

After the iPad rollout on Wednesday and Thursday, we invited Cubic Computing- the vendor that we purchased the iPads from, to provide guidance on iPad use. The hope for this session was to get our 5 apps downloaded and working on the iPads.

Until the afternoon of  the training, we were still hoping for a volume purchase option for our Apps and still had not gained the help needed from our Apple representatives. This didn’t happen.  There is not volume purchasing in India, and you cannot buy apps in one store and gift to another store.  Most of Friday was used to determine all of this.

On Friday afternoon, our session did not go as planned.  It was fun and interesting, but focused on Mac and Apple products, without the hands on learning that teachers were most interested in.  The facilitator was not comfortable with questions and didn’t respond well to the enthusiastic questions of our staff.  As we have all heard  a million times, teachers do not always make the best students.  Each teacher had already generated a lot of questions and was eager to move on in their iPad discovery. We were spirited and enthusiastic.  We scared our workshop leader.

We did get a great introduction into iBooks and its capabilities.  We did get a plan to distribute the apps over the weekend.  We gathered all staff Apple IDs, so that we could gift their purchases to the correct account.  Mailing the gifts to their school email wouldn’t work, as we encouraged everyone to use their private emails for their Apple IDs.  In hindsight, it would have been easier to have all teachers with their school email address as their Apple ID, but then again some staff members already have iTunes accounts and just want to keep on using that.

During the weekend, Prakash and I will get teachers gifted with the 5 Apps.  iTunes gifting doesn’t allow you to gift multiple apps at once, but you can gift the same app to many people at once. Some teachers will purchase their apps using their own credit cards, as all gifts must be purchased and used in the store that they were purchased in.  We have credit cards to gift from the India store and the Canada store, but not to other countries… so they will self-purchase.

Lessons learned:  Keep planning ahead, the rollout was planned meticulously, but this offer of guidance was last minute, and therefore felt last minute.

We learned a lot about creating Apple IDS (without credit cards), and about the purchasing and gifting of Apps.  We wished we had learning this just a bit earlier.

But not to worry, we have smaller group training on Monday with Education Representatives from Apple, so for three hours on Monday in groups of 15-20, we will gain the inspirations and insight to help us bring our iPads into our classrooms…

 

“Out of the box” Ipad sessions at CISB- do you agree with the way we did it?

Out of the Box  Sept 21-22, 2011

1 hour in small groups

On Sept. 17th, a Googledoc sign-up sheet was sent out for iPad sign-up. 10 teachers signed up for the first available slot of Wednesday, Sept. 21st, and only 3 didn’t sign up at all.   Prakash and Syed, has already registered, barcoded, and added the VGA adaptors and smart covers to each iPad.  Teachers signed up for one 45 minute session anytime Thursday or for Wednesday after school.  The secondary staffroom was a buzz of activity for this 24 hours as many teachers came back for extra session time.  Here is the checklist that we tried to accomplish.  We didn’t get to the last two objectives until the second session.  Most teachers had not arrived with an iTunes account and this took up one complete 45 minutes session on the desktop computers getting their non-credit card iTunes accounts, remembering Apple IDs and passwords, and deciding which address and which apple store to start their account in.  Teacher had been asked to complete this prior to the first session, but many used this first session to do this, and thus attended more sessions later in the day.

iPad2 First Steps: Learning Checklist

After this session I will be able to:

Everyone is gone to Lunch-All is Quiet at CI

  • sign into iTunes on my iPad.
  • download apps from iTunes.
  1. Photoshop Express
  2. iBooks
  3. Virtual Piano
  4. Show me
  • take a photo.
  • take a video.
  • change the wallpaper.
  • add a web-based email to the Mail App.
  • use the voice-over function.
  • set the clock, date, and time.
  • add an iTunesU resource to your iPad.
  • sync and charge your iPad.

The iPads arrive- lots of excitement and wows from staff.  Many thought that the iPad talk, was just talk.  All were very pleased to see them, hold them, and use them.  Most were also nervous and anxious about how to use the iPad.  We did not have time to complete the last two items on this list.  Out of the box at CIS was the first time, many staff have used an Apple product.  The learning curve is steep. We will finish the list on Friday.

Our next training is scheduled for Friday afternoon. Teachers are eager and have alot of questions and energy  for a Friday afternoon at 3 (highly unusual for teachers, who really do like to head home early on Fridays).  They are ready for their apps.  We have 24 more hours to get them volume purchased or gifted to them.  We need to be ready with Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, and Comiclife for Friday afternoon, as we have an hour on Friday and then a full day of Apple PD on Monday.

Five Reasons why we choose to purchase these 5 Apps for our iPads

The Apps we decided on and why?
Pages                  Numbers                  Keynote                    Comiclife                     iMovie

  1. Giving these apps to teachers will hopefully,eventually allow us to remove the desktop computers from their classrooms.
  2.   These apps will be required for students, so we should be able to teach them how to use this apps.
  3. Giving alternatives to web-based apps will help if the internet is down.
  4. Many teachers have not had access to these tools and are use to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint providing tools that function similarly and allow these files to be opened is important to generating teacher support and to facilitating use of previously created materials through the iPad interface.
  5.  Someday our teachers may have Macbooks, while students keep the iPads…… maybe….

This keeps the total cost of apps under 45USD per iPad.