iPad Boot Camp for Elementary Kids

#edtech #edchat #elemchat

Since I feel strongly that the future direction of technology in elementary schools is really going in the direction of tablet computers, and more importantly for now at least, the iPad, I decided it was time to do something about this so I have put together the iPad boot camp for my students to go to during the winter break. We sort of have a long winter break this year, even after New Year's Day we still have another week of winter break so I'm going to do this boot camp at the observatory near my house We are going to meet for six hours a day for five days and really get to the bottom of what students can do on an iPad.

The first thing I am going to cover is moviemaking using these devices. We are going to film with an iPod using a special tripod with an iPod mount on it and a microphone plugged in the bottom movies shoot a legit movie over the five days. It is so cool that kids really can edit video using iMovie on the iPad complete with sound and video effects. I really think that this is the type of things that is a great direction for kids to go with being able to express themselves by making their own videos on these devices.

The next thing I am going to cover is making little animations on their iPods using these funny little apps that allow students a simple way to animate stories and ideas. I'm also going to bring in stop motion animation were we to put the iPad on a tripod and do actual stop motion animation, again these are creative outlets for students to use to express their education in a way that that works for them. Students want to create digital artifacts with their iPads, and with the movie that I've mentioned previously and making these short little animations on their iPads, this is going to give them a creative outlet that will amaze you.

Another thing I am going to cover is iPad photography. With an iPad, I am going to show my students how to take great photos and then how to edit these photos by adding the appropriate filters and effects to them to make a powerful image, that they can use to tell a story. In addition to just plain photography the students are going to learn how to take 360° photos. These are immersive type photographs that students can use to show what is going on all around them.

This is just a sampling of what we are going to be doing during this iPad Boot Camp. There are many more apps and projects that the students will be doing.

After talking with my friends at Atomic Learning, it turns out they are very interested in this boot camp and they have offered to help in any way. Together we have decided that every lesson should be standards-based and linked to the new Common Core Standards. So stay-tuned to updates from this boot camp.

- Brad Flickinger, Tech Teacher, Bethke Elementary School

Revamping the Student Studio

#edtech #edchat #elemchat Although I have been doing a weekly news show with my elementary students for the past two years, I am not happy with how it looks. Getting 8, 9 and 10 year-olds to do a news show is tough enough, but a high quality news show is next to impossible. But I like to give my students impossible tasks and see what they can do -- most times they blow me away.

So I stewed about the news show all during my winter break. I wrote and rewrote the outline for the show about 10 times before I came up with a format I liked and what I thought my students would be capable of doing. So today on my first day back (and without students) I started to rearrange the studio to reflect the new outline. Granted, my studio is really small so there is not a lot to work with, but I went forward anyhow.

I hope to have a new show using the new format some time next week.

I am very interested to see what other schools are doing for morning news... just comment below to tell me what you are doing.