Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Soup to nuts research is DRIVING us nuts!

Can you tell things got crazy 'round here? Two weeks and no posts - oops! There goes that blogging resolution!
Image from Lovell Communications

Back today with an update on our research project we're teaching exclusively on the iPads. It's been . . . interesting. I'm working with inclusion classes - in some instances, there are more students in the class WITH IEPs and 504s than students without accommodations.

My initial thought was -- "Instruction on the iPad - great! iPads are so easy! They'll fly through this! And tons of opportunities for differentiation!" To date, things aren't running quite so smoothly (and any !s in real life are usually proceeded by a mental swear word). I'm pretty sure the challenges are due to a lack of proficiency and foresight on my part....so I remain hopeful!

We're finding that we need to devote a good chunk of time to teaching the kids how to use the iPad itself -- this is eating into our information literacy/research instruction time. For example, when searching for database articles, not only do we need to talk about how to search a database, we also need to demonstrate how to use ReaddleDocs' built in browser and how to save articles in PDF format. If we were sitting at desktop computers, these skills would be second nature for the students.

This doesn't mean the time we're spending on iPad instruction is a waste -- as it's becoming an increasingly essential skill, but it's a time sink we didn't necessarily plan for. Which, come to think of it, was really stupid on our part.

So far we've survived Internet research, database research, book research, and generating source cards on the Index Card app.

Tomorrow we use ReaddleDocs to highlight PDFs we've saved during the research phase. Unfortunately, it's not as simple as 1) Uncap highlighter and 2) Put highlighter to paper. Wish us luck!

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