Sunday, August 12, 2012

American Government Cross-Age Learning Using iPads

Fifth grade Bauerwood students from my Social Studies class just finished studying American Government. My daughter, Tori, is in Mr. Schuiteman’s High School Government class, and as I was talking to her about the things she was learning, I started to think of a way we could let the two classes interact and learn from each other. It didn’t take too long to realize the idea could become reality by using the new iPads and FaceTime!

So, Matt and I worked out the details (which was a snap) and set up a time to “meet.”

My fifth graders brainstormed a list of questions to ask the High School students. Some asked questions about information we learned while others wanted to know if the High School students could answer their questions. Other kiddos asked questions they were wondering about. I emailed the list of questions to Matt, and he chose the questions his class could answer within a reasonable amount of time. He emailed me the final list and we were ready to roll.

The great part about this experience was my kiddos asked some really deep questions and knew some things that the high schoolers didn’t know. Thus, they felt very important. The high school kiddos got a chance to review for their upcoming exam by answering questions. Many laughs were shared! It was an awesome experience that only took about 15 minutes and two “taps” on the iPad.

Here’s how it works:

•Decide what your activity will involve and find a partner.
•Go to the FaceTime app on your iPad and add the “partner” as a contact. They will accept you as a contact once they receive the “invite.”
•Choose a date and time to connect.
•Organize your learning event and prepare your class.
•When the time arrives, go to Face Time and “dial” your partner by tapping on his/her name.
•The other partner answers the call and you are connected!
•Let your students pass the iPad around or hold it up for all to see.
*Next, year this should reflect onto the screen via Apple TV.
•Take lots of pictures!

Meagen Russ
Bauerwood 5th Grade Teacher

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