Wednesday, November 23, 2011

App Reviews: For Students By Students

As I look for my students to expand their horizons in technology, I always try to find opportunities for kids to create and use content. We know kids become more engaged and motivated when their audience expands. William Glasser's work taught us that we learn 50% of what we see and hear and we can increase that learning to 95% when we actively use information and teach others.

In first grade we spend a lot of time talking about why we share our learning. I want my kids to acquire what Peter H. Johnston refers to as "agency" in his book, Choice Words. I want my kids to see themselves as active players in the global community and think of themselves as, "I'm the kind of kid who can ________." I'm the kind of kid who can save Africa. I'm the kind of kid who can develop a new app. I'm the kind of kid who can teach others even though I'm only six-years-old. When kids begin to view themselves as empowered, content-creators and information-sharers they see the relevance of their work and are inspired to do more.

With our iPad project I'm constantly asking my students why is this important and how could we share this learning with others? As a result of these types of questions, my students decided it was important that we share apps that help us learn and understand more. Using SonicPics, my students are creating video app reviews for kids in our classroom and beyond.

When asked why is this important, here is how a few kids responded:
"Because what if kids in kindergarten don't know about it and it could really help them learn."
"Well, if your parents want to buy apps this could tell them which ones are good ones."
"Maybe other schools are thinking should we get iPads? Yes or no? This could make them say, oh yes we should!"

So, check out Room 106's app reviews! We want to share our learning and hope that you learn something new from first grade!

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