iPads: a tool or a reward?

Teachers: Andrea Jamieson, Cecilia Felsenstein & Verónica Gómez. Year 3 Olivos English Teachers.

Sector: Olivos Primary.

Year 3.

Subject areas: English Language, Maths, PSE, Social Studies and Science.

Using iPads in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning.

iPads have become an essential and handy tool to implement our curriculum in an attractive and engaging way for our contemporary students. This project will present different apps that students have used to construct knowledge through meaningful activities.


Why do we choose to use iPads in our daily teaching?

iPads have become an essential and handy tool to implement our curriculum in an attractive and engaging way for our contemporary students. We have integrated them into our activities, as often as needed, and they have transformed our classrooms, given that students became active learners in the process.

iPads allow students to have instantaneous access to updated information and help them get more involved in their own learning.  The fact that they are easy to handle makes students become more independent and take advantage of the different modes of learning they offer (creating, evaluating, analysing, applying, understanding and remembering). Furthermore, they have helped our students meet and develop their individual learning needs and skills.

How did we implement iPads in our curriculum?

A- Apps as learning tools

These are some of the applications we have used throughout the year:

1- Project: Author study: Anthony Browne.


  image   Voicethread

Students’ final task in this project was to write a book review, which includes a comment. Therefore students used this application to practise writing a comment. This enabled them to understand the difference between a comment and a personal opinion.

Furthermore, next year students in Year 3 will be able to choose which books to read by listening to or reading these comments.


Check out our students’ comments:


 2- Project: Author Study: Anthony Browne


  • Pic Collage


Throughout the author study unit students read several stories by Anthony Browne. While reading, students realised that the author does not use words to express his characters’ feelings. Instead, he shows these in his illustrations. As Students lacked the vocabulary to express the emotions the pictures showed, we played a game for them to learn and apply the different words.  Once they became acquainted with them, we used Pic Collage to create a word bank, which eventually they used when writing their book reviews.


Students’ word bank:


  • Visualize: 

One of the final tasks for this unit was to make a poster about Anthony Browne. Students created the posters using the app Visualize.


3- Project: Building our sense of Community

 After doing some research on the elements of their personal communities and the St. Andrew’s Community, students recorded and analysed their findings using different apps.


  • iBrainstorm:


Students created a web to organise the information of the different communities.


  • Educreations:  


Students created a presentation to compare the school’s uniform throughout its 175 years.  https://vimeo.com/69157957

As a final task students created elements for the Year 3 community and then made a presentation to show them.  https://vimeo.com/69310573

  • Book Creator:

Students designed a book retelling St. Andrew’s story and explained the elements of the St. Andrew’s flag.

  • Puppet Pals:

Students created videos illustrating the four main values of the St. Andrew’s Community.





  • Explain Everything: 

-Students created a presentation to compare the school badges throughout the 175 years. https://vimeo.com/69256361

 -Students created a presentation to analyse and understand the St. Andrew’s anthem. https://vimeo.com/69156819

  • History Pin: 

Students compared the school sites in the 175 years, pinned them on a map, and created a tour. http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/47231#|photos/list/

As one of the final tasks, the children created games they would like to play at the new campus. Using the app “Pages” they wrote down the rules to play each one of these games.


These products can be seen at: http://www.sanandres.esc.edu.ar/olivosp/extranet2013/3rd/thinglink/index.htm


4- Project: Fables


  • Tiny Tap, image Camera image

During the unit on fables, students realised writers use different verbs to show ways of walking and talking. In order to apply the vocabulary learnt, they created games to practise the words that depict different ways of talking and walking.

Take a look at their creations and give it a try!



  • Book Press

The final task of this unit was to create their own personal fable. These will be published during these last days.

5- Project: Solar system


  • Solar Walk, image Solar System, image Nasa image  Montessori Solar System. image
  • Safari, image Google drive image Keynote. image

Students investigated about the Solar System to write a non-chronological report. They used different apps (Solar Walk, Solar system, Nasa, Montessori Solar System) to carry out their research. In order to find the information the apps could not provide, students went into Safari to explore different web sites.

Finally, they wrote a non-chronological report collaboratively with the members of their team in a google doc. They used the app Keynote to present the information they had researched to their peers.

6- Maths Stations

Throughout the year students played different games to reinforce and practise different mathematical concepts.


  • Geoboard image
  • Training  image Math Expert   image Kids Math  image Math Party  image  Casual Math   image  Math Master  image  Math Quizzer image  King of Mathimage AB Maths image Times Table image Mad Math  image
7- Independent Reading:

Application: Bug Club


During our reading sessions we worked in stations. In one of them students read independently using the app Bug Club.

8- End of year reflection:

Application: Pic Collage

imageStudents created a poster to express their feelings about the work done during the year using the app Pic Collage.


B- Apps as teaching tools:


  • Videoscribe: 


As part of the project on community we created a video to make the students reflect on everything they had done throughout the project and for them to start thinking on their final task. https://vimeo.com/81029865

 Within the project of Anthony Browne, as part of the writing process, we created a video for the students to reflect on their writing errors so as to be able to edit their book reviews. https://vimeo.com/81159392

  • Emotions: 

During PSE students read very interesting stories to work on the different topics.

  • Camera: 

During the year, we teachers, filmed and took pictures of important moments that we wanted to record to keep as evidence of our student’s work. https://vimeo.com/81157607

  • iMovie:

Once the project on community was over, we created a video for the students to enjoy and become aware of all the special moments shared.https://vimeo.com/69249926

iPads: a tool or a reward?

iPdas can be used as a reward for students, however we have experienced that they are a powerful tool to support and enrich teaching and learning given that we have realised that:

  • concepts can be understood to a much greater depth.
  • students learn at their own pace and in their own style.
  • they are a  handy, dynamic and simple tool to have in  the classroom (videos, photos, internet for instance are much more accessible).
  • they provide students with 21st century skills that they will need throughout their lives.
  • students can reinforce ideas by experimenting things by themselves.
  • learning becomes far more interesting for the students.
  • students can work collaboratively with other students who may not be physically close.
  • they provide teachers with a vast variety of tools to make their lessons far more interactive, dynamic and engaging.

” I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”  Albert Einstein.

Categories: Uncategorized

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