Friday, October 4, 2013

When IPads Meet Process Writing

Have you ever had the feeling that many of our students do not know or remember what the correction symbols we add to their written work are? I have been playing around with the use of IPads in writing lessons, and here go some of the insights I have had so far.

To brainstorm 

IPads really help us in the pre-writing phase. Students can show pictures, brainstorm ideas on
popplet or infinote, and by doing so, we add color and movement to a stage many students tend to skip.

To write 

I do not like writing longer texts on the IPads, and I have noticed that some students also do not like it. When I bring the IPads to class, I always give them the option. Last writing workshop I gave, I put some IPads and sheets of paper on my desk, and students stood up and got whichever they prefered.
I do not want to rely on internet connection, and surely enough, I do not want to work more than I already do, so the choice I make regarding apps has to be one that will not require me to print students` work before I write my comments and codes on it, and will not require setting accounts or logging in. There are many options, but the simplest for me is:

Notes - simply ask students to email their writing to you. When you get it, reply and add comments, codes, and everything else you need to send them.

To provide feedback

 If I were a language student,  I would be tired of getting feedback the same way all the time. Apps can give teachers different possibilities to send corrective feedback.  We can take a picture of the first drafts, or printscreen students` digital work, and make a screencast with explaineverything or showme. We can record our voices in five minutes, and let students see us reacting to their stories as real readers do in real life.  We can even make some comments like - change the verb tense here to help me understand what you mean, and show students that we care. 

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