The iPad that Apple has provided finally arrived. After taking a quick trip home to get the iPad, I spent the week researching fun, educational apps for kids. There are many websites that provide highlights to discounted apps, reviews on apps, and classes around the nation using iPads to enhance learning. My favorite app that I have found so far is called StoryKit. I hope to use this one with the children as soon as possible. This app not only allows children to draw pictures and create a book, but the children can also take real pictures and put them in their book, type sentences, and talk. This is exactly what Mrs. Frederick and I have been talking about finding for the children. After the children create their book, it is saved. This book can be printed and made into a great keepsake. Apps such as these can be a great tool in tracking the progress of children in the classroom. This can also keep parents and family in the loop on the great learning experiences going on in the classroom. I am in the process of finding more educational apps and organizing them. Next week will begin my work inside the classroom with the children. It will be interesting to see how the children react to the apps and how the iPads impact teaching and learning.
In the Honor's Program at the University of North Alabama, Seniors must take on a Capstone Project. This project is a research project that must somehow relate with your major. As my senior year began approaching, I began to speak to our honor's director about what kind of project I wanted to start. I am an Elementary Education major, so it needed to relate to education. After we got out for Christmas, I got an e-mail from the honor's director asking if I was interested in working on a technology project with Dr. Katie Kinney. Since I have known Dr. Kinney since I was young, I jumped on the chance and was so excited to begin. The only problem was that I did not have an iPad. How was I supposed to do research on iPads in education without an iPad? I went through my finances and realized that there was no possible way that I could afford to buy an iPad. As I began to get discouraged, someone suggested sending an e-mail to Apple and asking for one. What could it hurt? After speaking to my honor's director and Dr. Kinney, I went for it. I sent an e-mail to the CEO and Vice President of Marketing and said a little prayer. Counting on a miracle, I began to research different apps and ways that iPads were being used in the schools. The day before I made my trek back to UNA, I received a phone call. An Apple representative was on the other line. He told me that the Apple executives had been so impressed with my e-mail that they were willing to let me use an iPad for my research. This iPad must be returned after my project ends, but I was so grateful to be given the chance to borrow an iPad for the time being. I am so excited to be picking up this iPad this week! Not only has Apple provided me with an iPad to enhance research, but they have given me a huge opportunity to be successful in my research. The process of just getting started has been so exciting, and I cannot wait to dive into this project. Not only will our research be presented to faculty and parents of Kilby Laboratory School, but Dr. Kinney and I hope to take it across Alabama and hopefully nationwide. I am so thankful for this opportunity, Apple's great support, and Kilby for opening their doors and allowing me to work with the Kindergarten students.