How I Use It
I have used this app numerous times and each time my expectations are exceeded. The students need a tutorial on how to use the basic operations, but they can learn the more exploratory options by letting them play with it. This app works best when used near the end of a unit or when a subject is near conclusion. I have used this as a summative assessment task for various subjects; for example, I have used it in Math as a summative to our unit on area. I have also used it as a formative task in Math to explain rounding. One of the huge benefits to this app and using the iPad was during our Open Minds sessions. The students spend four days out in the field studying artefacts in museums. Afterwards they would need to explain several of the artefacts in the museum and provide details on what they have learned. The students enjoyed working in pairs planning the process. Using a storyboard template is useful to help them organise their ideas. By being able to record videos explaining the artefact, snap pictures of it, draw on it, and audio record, they were able to really display their knowledge of the artefacts. The app was easy to work with and the completed work was easy to export to Google Drive where they added it to the Blogs. The students were enthusiastic using the app because they were able to pretend as if they were an education program correspondent or news reporter. They really enjoyed it. One struggling factor to note was the difficulty some of the ELL students had with recording. If students did not use a microphone or speak loudly and clearly, sometimes their words were hard to make out.
My overall opinion about this product as a teaching tool is that it is a must have. It is amazing for showing student thinking, while giving them the power to explore the outside world. The fact that they can use it anywhere with the iPad makes it applicable for anything, including any subject. Imagine using it to explain a particular PE activity or how to make cookies in home studies. I love how there are so many options available for them to use and how easy it interacted with the Google Drive. The app also provides a unique and creative alternative to using PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Presentation. The app is listed for grades 7 to 12, but I teach grade 5 and it worked brilliantly.