welcoming the iPad

ipadWe have been very fortunate to receive an iPad to use with the children. So far, we’ve used it to document some of the children’s learning through pictures and video. The children have also been using it to draw pictures, voice-record stories, type observations and write about their learning. I found it very interesting that one of my emergent readers automatically left spaces between words when she used the keyboard, but often needs prompting to do so when she writes on paper. I wonder if she’s making the connection to how text appears in a book? Does she leave a space because she is typing or because the format is similar? Maybe she’s just at the stage where she doesn’t need as much prompting. Regardless of the reason it’s something I’m paying closer attention to.

I’ve been on the lookout for apps that are open-ended. There are many highly rated Kindergarten apps available, but five-stars doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to work in the program. Whether on paper or in electronic format, a worksheet is a worksheet. I prefer apps that are versatile and that support children’s creativity and curiosity.

Here are a few that we’ve used so far:

mystoryMy Story This is a great app for writing and drawing. It’s a simple story maker and book creator. The children can draw a picture, take a picture, or import one from the Photo Gallery. There is a text feature, so they can write about their pictures using the keyboard or they can use the drawing feature to write words. My Story also has voice recording so the children can narrate their stories or describe their pictures. It’s also great for creating and sharing class books.


Bamboo Paper can also be used to handwrite and import pictures. A few of the children have asked if they can write about something they’ve made using the iPad. Using a stylus or their finger, they can write on the screen.


Sock Puppets allows children to choose their own puppet character, stage and scenery. They can create their own puppet show by recording their voices. It’s a great app to encourage                                   story telling.

piccollage-medium-bc9d04270dd2473fb9251a7a0f0b6cbePic Collage is another app we’ve used both for our own documentation purposes and with the children. The app allows you to create a photo collage and add text. It gives children another way to represent their learning.

noteshelfOne of my absolute favourite apps is Noteshelf. Last year I decided to use my iPad for assessment purposes. Before the iPad, I took notes on stickies and filed them under each student’s name. I wanted an app that would allow me to quickly handwrite a note and take pictures. With Noteshelf, each of my students has a “notebook” where I jot down observations including pictures. It’s also a great way to set up electronic portfolios or journals for the children. Although it’s my favourite handwriting app, it doesn’t have voice recording….yet. Personally, I’d love to see this app include voice recording, tabs, and the ability to annotate PDFs. The great thing is that you can provide feedback to the app developers, so if you’re a teacher and you use Noteshelf, please take the time to share your feedback.

9 thoughts on “welcoming the iPad

  1. I am likewise fortunate to be in a school where our Kindergarten team has dedicated iPads for classroom use. I love pic collage for the ability to instantly document an event. A few weeks ago a student as me to take pictures of his construction project. I did, then opened up pic collage and showed him how to add his photos, how to rearrange (still seems like magic) and how to add text as he dictated to me what to write. I emailed to myself to show with the projector at sharing time. The students had used it with me before to create class books and document panels, but this solo project sparked others to want to create stories this way,

    As for your wishes about Noteshelf, I wonder if you’ve tried “explain everything”? It allows importing photos and video clips, typing or drawing text on photos, and adding voice. It’s a great way to create digital student portfolios.

  2. This is wonderful information! This year actually, I have incorporated iPods into my class. I am also looking for apps that my kinders can use. I am a bilingual teacher so finding apps for Spanish reading have been a challenge. I love the apps you mentioned which can be in any language with the recording ability. Thank you!

      • I use them for recursive review and practice in a small group or for technology station. I have just started to record some of our daily routines, such as, our days of the week and months of the year songs. I have recorded the whole class counting to 100. In addition, to recording our sight words for the children to read along. 🙂

  3. I visited your class last week. It was a great learning opportunity as we start our journey into FDK next year. Thanks for having us…..Also love your blog! I found it through another site, so congrats on being recognized. I have been using Notability as my assessment app. You can record voice as well as import PDF files that you can write on etc. No video though. thanks for the info 🙂

  4. Loved reading your blog – my class is just starting the talks about composting – I will have to look into getting some worms to inquire about.

    I just came back from a FDK conference where I had the opportunity to see more of the ins and outs of an app I already was toying with for documentation. Evernote – can handle pics, video, audio, and sharing with my DECE and parents for specific periods of time. Must buy the premium to have all the options but well worth it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s