The article by Jones (2012) titled Ipads and Kindergarten highlights many important points about using technology to develop literacy amongst young learners as summarised below:
- Play based opportunities help to develop print awareness
- Developing oral language and comprehension skills through play using a digital platform to tell and retell stories
- Teacher needs to support, scaffold and provide rich opportunities for language learning
- Apps such as Play School Art Maker enhances student centred learning by interacting with the technology, communicating with the teacher and peers, giving students choices and facilitating decision making – all important skills that students need to learn
- Retelling a story is an important part of meaning making and comprehension
- It is important to scaffold the re-telling or story telling process to ensure students understand the structure of a narrative event sequence
- iPads can enhance engagement and learning, but there needs to be quality adult interaction to ensure the students are using the technology to its full potential
Jones, M. (2012), ipads and kindergarten- students literacy development, SCAN, 31(4), 31-40.
HOW CAN PLAY SCHOOL ART MAKER APP BE USED IN THE CLASSROOM?
Along with retelling a story, this app could be used in later Stages, e.g. S1 or S2 to explore the thoughts and feelings of characters of a story that has been read in the classroom. It could be used as an assessment tool to gauge if the students have understood the story at a deeper level.
PUPPET PALS App Review
I recently downloaded Puppet Pals and played around with it and was very impressed with its capabilities. It allows the user to make their own story by choosing up to 8 characters and you can even use your own character by uploading a photo. The backgrounds that come with the app are limited but again you can upload your own. The characters can be made larger or smaller during recording which can add drama and another layer of meaning to the story e.g. through camera angles, up close, small size compared to other characters etc.
Just like Play School Art Maker this app allows voice recording but for a longer period of time, allowing ideas to develop more deeply. This app would lend itself to higher stage levels. It is easy to use and could also be used in ES1 classroom with enough scaffolding and supervision.
The uses of this app could be endless because of the ability to upload new characters and backgrounds of photos you take yourself. It could be used for any KLA, e.g. history to tell the story of a migrant or a person on the First Fleet, Science to tell the life cycle of an animal etc.