TL Under Construction

The life-long learning journal of a Teacher Librarian

TL Under Construction

Toolbox: e5 iPad Apps

June 17, 2012 · 10 Comments · Future Directions, ICT for Teaching and Learning, ICT Used and Trusted, Teacher Librarian as Leader, Uncategorized

Next year the Year 7s at our school will be bringing their iPads to school. This is part of the plan to answer the Big Question presented to our teachers at the end of 2011 –

How does Vermont Secondary College better prepare its student and teachers to meet the challenges of the 21st Century?

The Year 7 iPad Program is also meant to significantly reduce the number of text books purchased by families as well as offer additional organisational options and creative tools to staff and students.

As a teacher librarian it is my role to evaluate and recommend resources of any sort to support high quality teaching and learning.  So I began to read blogs about apps for education, I listened to individual recommendations, I  uploaded and trialled hundreds of apps over the year but only passed on a handful to specific teachers. I began to question the quality of educational apps available (most seemed like gimicks, games or had limited use). Were we expecting too much too soon? I decided I needed to use a different approach.

I’ve followed Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano of  Langwitches Blog fame for several years and found her charts:

to be exremely clear and easy to use. It got me thinking …

The Victorian DEECD (Dept of Education and Early Childhood Development) recently introduced its e5 Instructional Model into schools and VSC has been trialling it for the past 12 months. My question became: How could I support teachers to implement the e5 Instructional Model via the iPad Program? Was it possible to create a chart that would be  easy to use and  could provide apps suitable for each of the facets of e5? I decided to take the DEECD up on their invitation to:

…  engage with the e5 Instructional Model as a framework for defining what high quality instruction looks like in the Victorian government education system.

And here is what I’ve come up with –

 As I worked through the model applying it to the apps I trialled, I had several things in mind:

  • to look for apps that were not specific to Key Learning Areas (not always possible)
  • to choose apps that could support teachers, students or both (not just students)
  • cost should be minimal
  • check the terms and conditions (especially with regard to age restrictions and ownership of uploaded work)

I found that:

  • many apps suited more than one of the facets of the e5 Model
  • there were many suitable high quality apps not listed in the educational section of  the iTunes Store
  • the apps I trialled and found suitable for the Engage facet of e5 tended to be subject specific so I sampled from different learning areas and included them

To make this chart more accessible I’ve turned it into a pdf file, you can click here to download. Any comments or constructive feedback would be greatly appreciated. I’ll blog again when I get some feedback from the teachers at the high school.

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10 Comments

  • brittgow

    Great work Judith – I have always found it difficult to categorize web 2.0 tools or apps in this way, because it usually depends on how you use the tool. As you mention, many apps are suitable for more than one purpose and category and these tend to be the best for being open-ended and enabling for students. This is a useful exercise for getting to know some creative and flexible tools, but I think how the tools are used is more important than what category they belong to. Great post for this discussion to continue with our staff at Hawkesdale!

  • Annette Niven

    Catherine, what a fantastic chart you have created. We have all of our Year 7 and 8 students use iPads, and we have also been completing a lot of work to further improve our teacher practice using e5. A great tool for teachers to use. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • cathyinoz

    Thanks for the comment, and agreed about the best ones being those that apply across the whole process. Of course tools never take the lead in teaching but i wanted to give teachers somewhere to start when choosing iPad tools to facilitate their instruction. And thanks Judith for the retweet. =)

  • cathyinoz

    Your welcome, with so many apps out there, it was a very worthwhile exercise.

  • groovylibrarian

    HI Cathy,
    Nice job. I have worked with the 5e model here at OLMC and think it’s a great model to use with students for a lesson or unit of work.
    I plan to take this model with me to MLC and I can use it with my iLibrary classes. Thanks for all your work. Well done.

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