I also used the iPads with my Spanish 4b class (that's the name I call them bc they actually will ony have the same amount of language instruction at the end of the semester as other Spanish 4 students), but I didn't post any of their examples on the blog. We are very fortunate here at Palmyra Area High School to have a set of iPads to share with the Social Studies department. But if you are like me, you don't have time to check out the iPads to see what apps are available, plus then you'll need time to create lesson plans that focus on acquisition and not on technology.
(Post from Department Blog)
I used the iPads during the first semester and I wasn't pleased with the results. For starters, I used the Sock Puppets app because I knew the recording time was limited and I didn't want the students writing long dialogues. However, we ran into problems saving the dialogues and other small problems for which I hadn't planned. (You won't know what problem will arise when using new technology but you always need to be flexible and have a back-up plan!) Thankfully KK was there to help with the small problems, but I still wasn't happy with the results.
I reflected on the lesson that evening and know one thing that caused problems. I originally had planned for the students to write the dialogues the day BEFORE the iPads were in the classroom, but the previous day we were finishing up a TPRS story and ran out of time.
The second problem was the voices of the Sock Puppets. They're cute when you are listening to them in your L1, but their voice variations made it more difficult for the students to understand L2.
Last week I used the iPads for the second time and I'm glad to say it went much smoother. I wanted students to make stories in the past tense with high frequency verbs using the Educreations app to display at Palmyra Pride Night. It worked out well that they worked on this assignment on one of the days that I had no voice. Below are the steps and a few examples.
1. I distributed papers to the students with a basic outline: somebody wanted something and went 2 places to look for it. They decided if the person was able to find what they were searching for or not.
2. I distributed the StoryBoard paper below.
Students worked alone or in pairs to write and sketch their story. There were several words they had to use: buscó (looked for), quería (wanted), fue (went) and 3 others.
3. When their story was written and sketched, they met with me to go over the story.
4. They were only allowed to get an ipad out of the cart AFTER they had met with me. (At the beginning of class I assigned each of them a number that they will use whenever we use the iPads again.)
Students sketched the stories (goal was 6 sketches & at least 6 sentences) and, if time allowed, they added the text on the screen too.
5. After the story was ready to record, they met with me again to go over the story.
6. They went out into the hall to record. I tried to keep it to two groups of students in the hall at one time. If you allow more than two groups to record in the hall, you'll have background noise just as if they had stayed in the classroom.
THOUGHTS on the lesson:
- I asked for students thoughts on this assignment and they told me they enjoyed it. It was a nice change for them.
- It worked MUCH better this time since their stories were written BEFORE they touched the iPads. They had a limited amount of time and had to stay on task to complete the work. One limitation to the Educreations app is that you can't save a story and work on it the following day.
- I would much prefer "asking" a story with them because I know that is how acquisition takes place, but without a voice, and because I wanted some concrete examples for Palmyra Pride Night, it fit my plans.
- This is definitely OUTPUT, no getting around it. It needs to be limited. However, I put all the Educreations stories on Edmodo so they can watch their own and their classmates' PLUS their parents can watch them too. It is a nice way for parents to see their child's progress.