I am fortunate enough that I have many different opportunities to to use iPad technology with many different age groups. One thing I dislike is when an APP is classified as being only appropriate for K-8. Or too often I hear high school teachers groan and moan about how they have not made enough APPS that are appropriate for high school students. Well if you take the time to have “play time” with APPS you can often find that they satisfy the needs of students who small as well as students who are tall.
I am currently in my last month of the school year as a high school teacher. Those of you who are in my position would probably agree that our students are getting shall we say: ANTSY!! Perhaps I am the only teacher who is experiencing this phenomena but I suspect that I not experiencing students restlessness in isolation.
So this week in my Geometry class I was reviewing for the finals and I thought it would be fun to have some “play time” with a new app called Tiny Tap. Tiny Tap is an iPad app that allows the user to create their own games. You can import photos from your photo library, take pictures in the classroom, add text boxes, add musical effects, add voice-over, and use your hands to draw manipulative objects.
The challenge that I gave to my students was let’s make a short game that could be used to teach geometry to your younger brothers and sisters. Well my high school sophomores and juniors were out of their seats arguing over whose turn it would next be to add a question to the game. After a few moments of squabbling they eventually started spontaneously collaborating on the project. The result was a very high quality product/game that was the creation of my students. I think the true test of understanding is being able to teach it to someone else. That is why I love the iPad as a teaching tool because it gives me the ability to place my students in the role of teacher.
I will certainly use this Tiny Tap math game to teach shapes to younger students during the extended school year program.
Punchline: Don’t stymie your students creativity by saying an APP is only good for one age group!!