Welcome to my Digital Classroom – Teacher Feature
As business studies teacher in Malahide Community School, with 1200 students each with their own iPad for learning, Bernie Foley uses iPad throughout her lessons to help enhance her students’ learning using digital technology. Here she tells us what it’s like to work in a 1:1 iPad school and how it enables her to be better able to meet her students’ needs.
Building Key Skills with iPad
I’ve been working in Malahide Community School for 5 years now and I honestly couldn’t imagine teaching without the iPad. I use it in all my lessons along with more traditional methods of teaching and I find that students tend to be a lot more creative when they have the iPad. They have choice, so when I give an activity, they can produce a written piece, record an audio piece, use Clips to create a video or Pic Collage to visually represent it. It really does foster creativity in students and make them more independent in terms of their learning.
How iPad helps me meet my students’ needs
I post all my classes and material to our Virtual Learning Environment. This is an online platform and students, if they're absent, can access this or if they need a little bit of extra time to grasp some key concepts, they can also then go back at a later date to review the material. Also if there is a student who has a particular need, they can decide how best to produce work back to me and it enables them to meet their potential in terms of their learning. Students can engage in discussion with myself digitally and with other students to fill in any gaps in their learning or knowledge.
Also from a planning perspective, the iPad is very beneficial to teachers. For instance, we can instantly gain feedback from a class test that enables us to plan for our next lesson. So, for example, if I give an exam and a particular topic is proving difficulty for the students, I can then adapt my planning for our next lesson to ensure that students that students get a better understanding of the topic in our next class.
Students are also more accountable for their learning with iPad. I have a digital record of homework assignments and assessments that have been completed and parents also have access to attendance and any work that the student has completed.
How we keep up to date with the latest developments
A challenge we have found with iPad is making sure that staff are up to date with the technology and the various apps that have emerged. On an ongoing basis, Wriggle provides support to all our staff to make sure that we have the most up to date information that we can pass on to the students.
I personally think the iPad is very beneficial to every student. It enables us as teachers to be better able to meet our students’ needs and it enables students to learn in the way that suits them best, to be creative and most importantly, to become independent in their own learning.
For more information on how you can enhance learning using iPad in your school, visit our pages dedicated to teaching and learning with iPad below:iPad in Education
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