Friday, 28 March 2014

My iPad journey

I did my PGCE in Budapest (Hungary) 8 years ago and the only technology I used was a CD player. When I started to work in England in 2008,  I didn't even know what a PowerPoint presentation was and I was astonished to see an Interactive Whiteboard. When I got my first small job in a primary school I always made sure I stood a few metres' away from the IWB, it felt like being next to an alien. Because I was never taught with technology nor was I shown how to use it in the classroom, I didn't really understand all the fuss about moving images on the IWB or writing on it with those special pens. When I learnt how to make a PowerPoint presentation in 2008 I thought I had the world at my feet!
I am a visiting teacher, I fly from one classroom to the other with 1 basket and 2 bags, I meet my pupils once a week and spend very limited time with them. I teach with lots of props, PowerPoints, Youtube videos, CDs, craft activities, I do make sure we learn and have fun and I don't think anything will be missing if little Connor drops my iPad 'Dominic McGladdery' style....we will just shrug our shoulders and move on. 
My iPad journey started after a Show and Tell event in Manchester last October where almost all the presenters  mentioned their twitter names. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I couldn't sleep that night and joined Twitter, which was probably my smartest move of 2013. I saw loads of iPad questions and advice on my timeline  for weeks but was completely immune to them, just scrolled them down until one day I saw a tweet from Joe Dale (@joedale)  who made a picture of himself in ComicBook and wrote some lines there, too. I found it so funny that I immediately downloaded the app on my iPad; which until then, I had only used to go on Facebook or read the news. I took my iPad to my lesson the following week and with shaky hands gave the ComicBook task to a couple of children as an extension activity when they finished their writing.

Since then I have challenged myself to try something new, that I see on Twitter, every week, and I am getting really excited. Yesterday I even bought myself a VGA adaptor so that I could use the big screen as well.

Here I am listing the apps we have used so far. I can't show children's images from the classroom so I just took a few selfies for illustration, sorry:-)
Great to practise the Spanish question/exclamation marks and the accents.
Just like a whiteboard, good to draw favourite numbers, pets etc.  and let the others guess it.
After writing 7-8 sentences about themselves, the pupils can make their own 'gamis' then read out what they've written, making an audio recording of this. Very engaging, motivating and funny!
Even the shyest pupil will speak out loud to my hand holding the iPad and then will listen to the rap proudly. This one is called "Me pongo...".
 Thank you @EWoodroffe and @ SylvieBRawlings for the idea!
Based on your own photo, you can make funny faces with different themes and then record a message.
Thank you for the idea @lisibo! Here goes a smile for your blog!
Make Dice Lite
You can write your own sentences on the 6 sides, a volunteer rolls the dice, if somebody from the the rest of the class can guess where it stopped, he/she can roll the dice next. It really motivates the children to speak!
Decide Now!
A volunteer spins the wheel, if somebody from the the rest of the class can guess where it stopped, he/she can spin the wheel next. Just like the previous app, it gets the pupils to speak easily.

YAKit Kids
Put eyes, nose and mouth on your face and record your message, the mouth will actually talk!

Thank you @joedale and @Nieves_Sadullah!

We made "daily routine" short movies with it, there is a wide range of pictures you can use, it is really funny to look back and show the children the movie again at the beginning of the next lesson to remind us of the vocabulary.


Using the iPad in the classroom makes my pupils very excited, they all have their hands up to talk, sing, or have a go. They love looking at themselves on the screen and listening to how they speak in Spanish. I can't put much interesting technology in my bag but the iPad and the adaptor are really small to carry around, get out and set up. 
Thank you #mfltwitterati  and @joedale:-)
This is where it all began, and who knows where it will end? :-) I am looking forward to the iPad workshop next Saturday at ALL Languages World in Lancaster!



  1. Really good ideas Erzsi. I have to use saome of them in my lessons :-)

  2. hola Carmen, try them,they are really easy! most of them are free or cost a few pounds only. I only use my own personal iPad but so far it has been fun. Good luck and let me know if you have tried anything.
    P.S. I love your blog! When I read it I feel like a very good friend is talking to me, it so friendly, funny and entertaining. Keep on blogging forever:-))) erzsi x