Experts and Apps
When students started to create their books, the authors went to a different room with the English teacher and the illustrators stayed in my room. The authors had the English teacher to help give them feedback. The illustrators had an Art teacher (from ES, MS, or HS) and the MS Tech & Design teacher to give feedback and tips on drawing techniques. The students storyboarded before splitting up so each partner knew what would be on page 1 of their stories.
I really appreciate these teachers agreeing to help with this project. In the future, I would like to find more expert artists or illustrators in the community and invite them to the school to give feedback. At this time, with the pandemic, it’s impossible to invite people in to the school.
Update: A student’s parent is a children’s book author! At the beginning of the school year, I created a Parent – School Partnership form and invited all MS parents to complete it. Parents indicated their skills and knowledge and if they would like to be invited to the school to be an Expert Resource. Unfortunately, after being sent out twice, only nine parents (of 300 students) replied.
A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to a parent and she agreed to listen to student questions about writing and illustrating children’s books! She also agreed to do a video response. I received it on Friday so only one class was able to view it. Her responses pretty much lined up with what the English and Art teachers were modeling for the students.
Tech Tools Students Use
Many students brought in their own tech tools: the Apple iPad with Apple pencil or a drawing board and pen. I also signed out a few school iPads but they didn’t have any stylus or drawing pens! Some students used the school iPads and a few decided it was easier to draw using their computers and wireless mice.
Apps Students Use
Since many students brought in their own iPads, I started asking classes which drawing apps they use. Ibis Paint, Procreate, and Sketchbook were all popular choices. I did a short lecture on why an app might be free and recognizing if some apps were not meant for students. After checking out apps on Common Sense Media and online; it was noted that Ibis Paint doesn’t sell personal information (yay!) *but* has questionable user content and ads. The students that were already using Ibis Paint were surprised when I suggested it wasn’t an appropriate app for G6 students to use. I also saw in the Apple store that apps come with an age suggestion and also what permissions and data they use.
Why don’t tech companies like Apple or Google lease out their devices so schools can swap older devices for newer ones?
In countries outside of the US, are there laws that protect companies from using and selling children’s data to third parties?
Do student’s parents understand the concern about companies using and selling their child’s online information?
Students (and staff) use Mac book Airs. Instead, why don’t we require students to use tablets (with wireless keyboards) so that students have a more versatile tool they can use to create content for all of their courses? They can annotate notes, write, share, and remix content all on a tablet. I feel like students that can afford these tablets are learning how to use this tech in creative ways and other students and teachers get left behind.