Friday, January 25, 2013

Hathaway Students Embrace Technology as they Learn and Teach

No two snowflakes are exactly the same.  Neither is the way Hathaway Elementary 4th and 5th graders in Erin Hayes’ class used iPad technology to teach younger students how to make paper snowflakes.

“Teaching students how to effectively communicate directions is one of the Washington State Learning Requirements,” explained Hayes.  “First, our kids decided they wanted to teach Alexis McKee’s 2nd and 3rd grade class next door how to make three-dimensional snowflakes.  Then they decided to use the classroom iPads as an instructional tool.”

Each student created their own unique presentation. Some illustrated their step descriptions with videos and others with photos.  When it was all done they took the materials to make the snowflakes and their iPad and worked one-on-one with younger students to teach them the process.

“Making the snowflakes was tricky at first, but Jocelyn was a really good listener,” said fifth grader Kayla Grimani.  “I think it was better for her to see my directions with the iPad because there were pictures, videos and transitions with all the steps.”

Second grader Aundre Pitts enjoyed the learning experience. “The iPads were really cool because the steps were right there and there was a touch screen. When I’m in fifth grade, I hope I get an iPad!”

The iPads in the classroom are a part of a Washougal School District pilot program to test their enhancement to learning and the feasibility of a longer term initiative to provide iPads to a larger group of students.  Currently one fifth grade class in each elementary school is using them for research, to reinforce learning, engage in peer editing, and create presentations.  The iPad also takes the place of the traditional paper textbook.

“It is pretty amazing what our kids can do when you set technology right in front of them,” commented Hayes.