Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sabin iMovie and Prezi iPad Projects!!, Meghan Gabler, Librarian, Sabin Magnet Elementary School

I am beyond thrilled with my 5th and 6th graders and how well their iMovie and Prezi projects turned out. Each student, solo or with a partner, chose a college or university of their choosing and built a presentation around it. Our whole school has been college focused this year and this was a great way to end the year and make the focus more  attainable for them.This is what I wrote my final lesson plan about and it is also what I made my second video about. Please check those out to learn more about the details of the project! However, the students began this project at the start of the 4th quarter and just finished it this week. I have to give them so much credit for the weeks of classes missed due to testing:(. They still kept their pace and their final projects were great! I will be uploading more of the individual projects to my website this summer because they are great examples for my future students. It was great to see my 5th graders get excited about a college, speak of it as it was the place they were choosing to go, and something that they can focus on the next few years. A few students loved the project so much they have asked if I could adapt it to high school research because that is nearer in the future for them. I will definitely be doing that!!

The Prezi app on the iPad ended up being a life saver for those students that chose to make Prezis. As they worked on the desktops originally, Prezi would freeze, or the internet would lose it’s connection frequently, forcing the students to have to pause continuously. Once they moved over to the iPad’s they were easily able to add pictures, type and do what they intended without losing connection. Having the Apple TV also made it possible for the students to present from their iPad to the Smart Board without having to stand next to the board. I am glad that I spent the time in the third quarter having every 5th and 6th student that I see create a Prezi account so they can continue to use it. It took a few steps and definitely some patience, but once they were logged into their own accounts they had fun teaching themselves the different tips and tricks.

General iPad status. It has been a struggle keeping the iPad’s both secure and charged, but I would say I have managed quite well. Through an observation with my A.P. she noticed how well the lessons were going with the iPad’s so she let me “borrow” two more, so that my larger classes of 24 and 25 students (I know this is small in comparison to other CPS schools, my apologies) could have enough iPad’s to work in pairs. She also then purchased 30 stylus’s for the students to use. They have worked out really well when it comes to drawing and typing and even just general searching. The students take good care of the stylus’s and even use the microfiber cloths to wipe off any smudges before and after using the iPad’s. However, with much perseverance and persistence, I am finally getting a cart that will hold all of the iPad’s and the Chromebooks! It should arrive soon and I am already making space for it in the library. My administration has been more and more helpful the more I share the great student work with them.

Looking forward to next year. When I met with Colleen she suggested that I clear off the iPad’s at the end of the year. So I will be moving student projects and other artifacts to my MBP to use in the future. It's great to use these student work samples as examples for future students and projects. It will also be helpful to start with clear iPad’s so that when I assign them an iPad to work with next year they will have a clean slate, with no other student artifacts remaining. It will also be helpful to configure the apps that I need for the start of the year versus what I have been using at the end of the year. EIther way, I am excited to start a new school year with the iPad’s having already learned so much but also ready to learn more this summer!

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