Sharing is caring. But sometimes inconvenient…

In my last fully integrated unit of inquiry with grade 1, I decided to be brave and suggest the creation of an eBook. Communication systems convey messages was the central idea. The students were tasked with collecting their knowledge throughout the inquiry regarding different communication systems such as braille, sign language, Arabic traffic signals, body language, and of course the music notation system and create this said eBook. Little did we know, we bit off more than we can chew. . .

Our school is not yet at the 1:1 iPad ratio, and it presented a big challenge when it was time to document, take photos, record reflections and their music. There was a lot of  logistical planning involved to ensure that everyone had access to iPads at the time that was best for the team. There were times where my planning periods were utilised to track down students (maybe they were absent) just so they have the opportunity to record their rhythms. As suggested by our tech specialist, Book Creator would have been an appropriate app; however, the sharing of devices didn’t lend itself to do so. The English and Arabic department ended up using a separate app, while I used Voice Recorder Pro to take a snapshot of their notated rhythms and record the sounds while playing on drums.

After the students have finished these steps, the two saved ‘artefacts’ (if I can call it that) were merged onto ANOTHER app to create essentially a short movie. Was it a book? Kind of…? It was an book that you could press play, read the pages and hear the students’ reflections and sounds. At the end, the students had a product to share on SeeSaw and another sample to discuss during Student Led Conferences. Although the unit was only supposed to be five weeks long, it was extended due to the hiccups (sharing of devices) we encountered. Not to mention, the majority of the Grade 1 teachers were new to authentically implementing a tech for a unit of study.

Sample of rhythms using popsicle sticks
Upside down beamed eighth note, but good nonetheless!

After this year’s experience, we will try to request additional iPads in order to solve our logistics issue. Although we’re not fortune tellers, it seems that the prediction of this lone solution will solve a majority of the hiccups we encountered this year. Now. Will it happen? Eh. Wishful thinking. We’ll definitely come up with a plan B.

How would YOU approach this scenario at your school? What could be our plan B?

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