Thursday, December 12, 2013

My experience using Book Creator, the app Step 1 & 2

Step 1:
After getting the Book Creator app uploaded to the iPads, I decided to give the students some informal time to explore the app.  At their center, they have to open the app and then do the following steps: 1. Add a picture 2. Add text 3. Draw something 4. Record self.  I noticed that the students were super excited to go to the center.  They all enjoyed the picture taking part.  They loved catching their peers in silly moments.  They also enjoyed the recording action.  Leaving it open ended and exploratory was a good idea and successful.  My first group needed very minimal guidance but all my sequential groups seemed unsure and asked a lot of questions.  I was nervous to start a new tech tool because I never feel I have enough time to thoroughly get the hang of it myself.  I’ve learned with technology that it is okay to let the students take the lead and learn from each other.  My initial way to show the app was just for that reason.  We are exploring the app together and learning new things.  One student accidently found out how to delete something which we weren’t able to do the day prior.  It was excited to figure out something new.  I also tried teaching one student and then having them teach the others.  This worked very well and obviously increases their understanding of the tool.  I’m excited and still nervous how we are going to actually put the book together this week.  The app has a few downsides and can be a bit touchy which is frustrating to the students.  I am having the tech rep in our building join me in the lesson to help with the “bugs” will have along the way.  Wish me luck!

Step 2
Okay, I finished the lesson with Book Creator.  We ran into a major impediment in the fact that the app would not upload to Schoology.  The goal was to share the stories with their families and friends (moving up the SAMR model) so we had to come up with a back up plan.  We still used the app and made the books but then we recorded the books on video to upload them to share with parents.  The app is a great app and I love that they can record separately on each page.  The lesson felt a bit chaotic trying to help that many kids at once.  Luckily the tech rep was there to assist.  The biggest problem was just partners having to share and work together.  It is still difficult for them to give up some of the responsibility and let their partner do some of the work.  I tried to assist by making them switch jobs at times.  The other negative part was trying to have 22 kids record at the same time.  The sound is sensitive and picks up everything.  Having two teachers allowed us to separate the group into two which helped.   I struggled with not being there for each group and making sure they were all telling a detailed story.  However, after listening to the stories, I was impressed with how well they did!  

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