St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School recently enjoyed a visit from Sue Durst and Katherine Sim from the Ministry of Education, who wanted to learn more about how the school is using iPads in the classroom. They observed the use of iPads in a Grade 3 class, and Grade 5 and 6 students who were working at iPad learning centres.
iPad Learning Centres relate to many subjects in the curriculum, such as Math, Language (reading, writing and media) and Drama. Depending on the centre, the students were given instructions on what was expected. Examples: Math Contest - students worked together to answer a series of 30 multiple choice questions in preparation for EQAO testing. Story Wheel - a student would spin a wheel and an image would come up. The student would then have his/her voice recorded to begin the story. Then the next student would spin the wheel and record his/her narrative. There were 12 images that each student needed to combine to make the completed narrative. It was interesting to see how the students' individual ideas about each image evolved into a story from six minds.
St. Matthew School students were also collaborating with one another to write a procedure on how to use the iPad application (app) Tapikeo. By having access to the app with little restrictions, the group was able to create a video storyboard using photographs they took with the camera on the iPad, and were able to record their voices to add some verbal text explaining the picture.
The Ministry of Education representatives first became interested in the iTouch iLearn iBelieve project when they attended the Brock University Technology Showcase in January, 2012 and saw the St. Matthew School team: Donna Dortmans, Nicole Biturajac, Brian Melanson and Kelly Cascone Brown present a workshop on iPads in the classroom.