Straight from the Student Source

Yesterday, we had a group of visitors from Florida, to check out both the 1:1 iPad program as well as the Makerspace. We do get visitors regularly to the Makerspace. As I was telling someone yesterday, it is a give and take. Knowledge must be shared freely and it is not nice to say no to someone who wants to learn, particularly with the goal of imparting that learning to their students. So that there is this exponential growth of new ideas, knowledge and student learning. After all, when I first looked into starting our Makerspace with the tools we already had, I had referred to the proposal that Robert Pronovost had put together for the first Ravenswood Makerspace. Give and take. And some student(s) somewhere will thrive and grow and find a niche. So I love giving the time. It is learning for me too.

While on their visit, when I learned they were coming earlier, I spoke to one classroom teacher at each grade level to find out if it was alright to pop in during the visit, that they may or may not be using iPads because a natural setting is the way it should be and I didn’t want them to change any of their lessons. The classroom teachers are always great in terms of trusting me so they were like “Don’t ask. Just come by”.

The first graders floored them with their iPad fluidity, their responsibility, shared their favorite things to do which included RAZ Kids, taking the iPad home two days of the week, recording themselves reading, uploading their media to Schoology. The fourth graders were working on watching a Social Studies video (from Safari Montage) while taking notes, each on their iPads with headphones at their own learning pace (the assignment having been posted on Schoology), those needing assistance, having an adult guide them. This was part of their research for their Social Studies writing project.

In the fifth grade class, it was a discussion. The visitors asked the students questions, the students commented on their favorite things to do, the apps, what they liked about having their own iPad, the digital etiquette involved (one student said what goes on the Internet stays on the internet which was awesome). Attached is a screenshot of their comments.

Student comments/things to do with their iPads

The last comment though is what made my day though: One of the new students this year, new about 2 months into the school year remarked: “For me it is a tool. I came new to this school, everything was new to me and the iPad has really helped me in terms of using a dictionary, a calculator, my assignments, writing. It really is a tool and has been very helpful to have it”. Hurrah to the students for their honesty. It takes a village to get all this and am so happy we have a village at our site, ensuring the students’ appropriate uses of the devices. It is just another tool…