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Ideas and iPads

Recently I gave my 7th and 8th grade students an assignment to come up with ways their local school board could help prepare them for the future.  To get them thinking I: had them watch “Did You Know? v3.0”, they checked out U.S.News’ top high schools in America, and I presented some ideas I recently heard from Yong Zhao (a Michigan State professor and author).  To further help the thought process, I had students brainstorm and share their ideas via Infinote.  Infinote is a iPad app where you basically use sticky notes to record thoughts and they can be saved in a variety of image formats and even PDFs!

The students really enjoyed using the iPad and they found it engaging.  The problem was I only have one iPad, and in a classroom of 25 students it took two class periods for every student to use it.  For most of my students, this was the first time they ever saw an iPad in real life, so it was worth the wait.  The results of their thinking can be found at the bottom of this post.

An interest side-effect of this project though showed up a few days later.  A student came up-to after class and asked if I knew how to create apps for the iPad or Android OS, which I stated, “No, but we can learn!”  So last week I spent every homeroom working with this student to download the necessary software to create Android apps (iPad is next week).  Word has spread and now I am up-to two students wanting to work on this project.  It seems that even with minimal exposure to something (the iPad), students will gather like a moth to a flame.

Below are the students (7th and 8th graders) thoughts via Infinote.  Please note I did not change or edit any students thought.

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