Any parent with an iPad knows how engrossing the device can be for young people – indeed, many mums and dads take advantage of this fact by handing their iPads over to their children while in the car or in a restaurant, just to give themselves a few minutes of respite from parenting.
Since it’s a cinch to get children engaged in new technology, it makes great sense to incorporate these devices in their day-to-day education. Stamford International American School is doing just that by offering a 1-to-1 iPad Program for students from Kindergarten 2 through Grade 5 and a 1-to-1 MacBook Program for Middle School and High School students.
We asked the students for their feedback.
“One of my favourite apps is Good Reader. I can use it to pull up worksheets and write my answers in directly and email them to my teacher, Mr Wood. I don’t use any paper, so we are saving the forests!
I have also learned to use Pages and Keynote in ICT (Information and Communications Technology). We use this for assignments, like our biography project on role models. I chose [American surfer] Bethany Hamilton, who I really admire. Mr Roth, my ICT Teacher, taught us how to use different fonts, headings, tables and graphs in our presentations. I also used Keynote to do a presentation on water in Africa. You can animate your presentation and add many different amazing effects.
Apps we use every day include Mathletics and SpellBoard. SpellBoard allows me to record the spelling word and the definition in my own voice. In Mathletics, different homework is assigned to different students so I can learn at my own level.
I asked Mr Roth if I could have an app called Whirly Word installed on my iPad. He said I had to give him a presentation about how this app is educational, so I did. Mr Roth agreed and now it is on my iPad! I felt really proud that I took the chance to present my thoughts to him and that he said yes.
One day I would like to work at Apple and then come back to Stamford and be the ICT Teacher and share all the new things I have learned!”
“My MacBook has a lot of different programs installed on it that I can use to help with my assignments, including iMovie, Photoshop and Keynote. We also have access to MyClass, an online communication tool for parents, students and staff. It’s efficient for checking new homework and getting any important homeroom news, and for easily communicating with teachers and classmates.
Our MacBooks help us brainstorm imaginative ideas – we have a lot of fun with them! In our current ICT project, the goal was to pick a form of technology and see how it affects the digital and outside environments. I chose to investigate how email and the internet have affected the postal service. We have been using Keynote, iMovie, Webspiration and other fun programs to assist our research and build our presentations. It has been really interesting to see the different aspects of technology and how they affect people and organisations.
We also use our MacBooks in our foreign language classes. I take Spanish and we are researching a Spanish-speaking country in order to give a presentation about it at our foreign language assembly. We split up into groups and my group chose Mexico. We used a program called Prezi to present our research. Prezi lets you present ideas with many different effects, such as zooming in on slides. It has been really fun to use, and I hope we get to use it more!”