By Larry Ferlazzo: An award-winning English and Social Studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., Larry Ferlazzo is the author of Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges, The ESL/ELL Teacher's Survival Guide, and Building Parent Engagement In Schools.
"The interest in inquiry-based learning seems to ebb and flow based on–well, it’s not clear why it ever ebbs.
In short, it is a student-centered, Constructivist approach to learning that requires critical thinking, and benefits from technology, collaboration, resourcefulness, and other modern learning skills that never seem to fall out of favor themselves.
Regardless, St Oliver Plunkett Primary School has put together two very useful images that can help you populate your iPad–or classroom of iPads–with apps that support both inquiry-based learning (the second image below), and a more general approach to pedagogy based on Apple’s uber-popular tablet (the top image)."
"The iPad is a great tool for accessing and creating content. Teachers can also use this device to collect and organize student work. Here are a few ways you can turn your iPad into an assessment tool:"
"A Guide to the iPad in Primary Education is an illustrated reference book to guide teachers through using the iPad successfully within the Primary Curriculum. Written by Adam Foster, an experienced Primary School Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator, the eBook is divided into chapters covering:
- Management of iPads. - Maximising the iPad's camera. - Teaching with the iPad. - iPad Workflows and Pupil Examples. - Film-making, screen-casting and eBook creation. - Early Years and more.
The book also includes over 40 minutes of video tutorials and many classroom based ideas for all year groups."
"There are times when taking a note in a written format is not a practical option. You might for instance be attending a lecture or a conference or you might simply prefer to listen to your recorded notes instead of reading them, in these cases apps such as the ones below are what you will use for audio note taking. While keeping the basic note taking features, all of these apps are fantastic for recording notes and adding audio to your notes. I invite you to check out the selection I have below and share with us what you thin about it."
This is a common concern of teachers who are new to project-based learning. Things can appear to be going smoothly -- students have been engaged by the project, they've been learning content and skills, they've been busy and meeting deadlines -- but their thinking is not as in-depth and their final products not as polished as they should be. If this is your experience, it's time to ask yourself some questions:
"Google Drive is a powerful productivity suite with an increasing potential in education. From storing documents to creating stunning presentations and drawings, Google Drive empowers you with the necessary tools to enhance your productivity and augment your workflow. I have been sharing several guides and materials on how teachers can tap into the power of this platform and this section aggregates all I have shared in this regard so far."
"The possibilities for the use of timeline tools in the class are endless. Whether you want to teach salient historical incidents, chronological order of events, or explain a developmental process in biology or simply outline the major learning curves for the year, timeline creation tools are the ideal platforms to implement."
When the iPad first launched it was pegged squarely as a media consumption device. To create professional art and design, you'd still need a fully-fledged laptop or desktop system running a full-fat operating system like Mac OS or Windows.
"The following is an excerpt from the book The App Generation: How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World by Howard Gardner and Katie Davis.
Let’s dive directly into the world of educational apps. Our survey suggests that the majority — one might even say, the vast majority — of educational apps encourage pursuit of the goals and means of traditional education by digital means. They constitute convenient, neat, sometimes even seductive pathways to accomplish what were already goals in an earlier era: mastering concepts, learning arithmetical operations, identifying geographical locations or historical figures or key biological or chemical or physical processes. We could dub them “digital textbooks” or “lectures” or “pre-programmed educational conversations.” Decades ago, major behaviorist B. F. Skinner called for teaching machines that would automate the traditional classroom, allow students to proceed at their own rate, provide positive feedback on correct answers, and either repeat a missed item or present that item via another pathway. Those sympathetic to Skinner’s brand of psychology and to its associated educational regimen would easily recognize many apps today and would likely nod in approval at their slick, seductive interfaces."
We’d had enough technology, and now it was time to re-engage as a class. Clearly, the iMacs had become a deterrent to learning rather than a catalyst, so it was time to re-group. Would I recommend the above strategy to middle or high school students?