Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ebook Success!

Alfred has finished his ebook, complete with voiceover, on the Lighthouse iPad. It was wonderful. I think I will have to give his aide, Catherine, a box of chocolates next week, to thank her for the amount of trouble she took getting this done. I am lucky - she is a retired teacher who decided to come back into the school system, but our aides in general are very very good.

It was exactly what I had had in mind when I made up this assignment - the simple pictures and sentences on each page and the young man's voice reading it. He did have to have the occasional gentle whispered prompt from his aide, but in general, he did all the things he needed to do - chose pictures that told the story, put them - mostly - in order and read from them. And the student is rather proud of this, despite all the arguing he did with his aide when he was working on it! He asked me if I would be showing it to the other teachers and I said I would, as soon as I can get it on my own iPad.

I have spoken to the speech therapist who runs Lighthouse and discussed the buying of this particular app, plus a more sophisticated one, for all students, but she was ahead of me in this, and also said she should be able to configure the computer for email. That means Alfred can download it on his own iPad and show his parents, but at this stage only in PDF, which is unlikely to have sound, because he only has the Kindle app, not iBooks. So if we want this project to work, we need to have access to iBooks on the student accounts, plus access to email they can use to send work to their teachers. There WAS a student email set up, but the principal suggested it might not be a good idea, because all the students had the same login, which might lead to anonymous bullying. Back to the drawing board! :-(

I will be showing him what this student has done as soon as I can, so he understands what can be done with an iPad provided we have given the students access to what they need.

Fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

More iPad ramblings or: Making Ebooks!

My integration student has been making an ebook!

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but this morning I actually got to look at it. And his aide was back, so he had one to one attention which I can't give him.

Last Friday I was absent in the afternoon, gone home with a temperature to moan and groan in my bed, but before I left I had a chat with him and asked him to continue gathering photos from Up, the movie he has been studying. He was to put them in order and keep them on the iPad camera roll for when he had time to put them together. He got the Lighthouse iPad in exchange for his and did what I had asked him.

Today, his aide helped him put the photos on the ebook creation app, BookBuilder. BookBuilder is really only good for picture books, with a little bit of text, but for that it's terrific. It isn't finished, but when it is, the integration aides will arrange to have email configured on it so that it can be emailed from the iPad both to him and to me. Then he can take his iPad home and show his achievement to his parents and I can show his achievement to staff looking for ways to use the iPad.

And then we can go through the whole business of trying to get that particular app made available to students who aren't integration students and so on and so forth... And email made available to them all, so they can email their work to their teachers... (They were working on that and it was all set up when a problem was pointed out and they had to start all over again).

But meanwhile, I'm thrilled to bits that this particular experiment seems to be working and very happy with this students and think his aide - who is also excited about this - deserves several bouquets.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Last Book Club Meeting For Term 1

In the end, our final meeting for the term was just a party. I bought goodies for the students to enjoy and oh, they did! Talk about locusts! ;-)

Priyanka didn't turn up because her other passion is soccer and there was a student versus staff game going, but she will be back next term. The others were there, from Year 7 to 9, eating, drinking horribly strong lime cordial and chatting. Rakibur wanted to see what his reward could be from the Allen and Unwin web site, once he finished reading the manuscript, so he went on line and looked at the catalogue, then went out to see the last few minutes of the soccer game.

And the others spread out after they had eaten and drunk enough. I did ask if they wanted anything to read for the holidays, but they reminded me with a smile that they had manuscripts to read. Two of them read them then and there. Emily lay across the comfy chairs, reading Pretty Little Liars and telling me how wonderful it was. Kaitlyn sat at a table with her manuscript. Nusaiba and her friends joined us for the first time; they have taken manuscripts for the first time too. They have taken a new student under their wings and brought her along, though she isn't really a reader, but it's nice to know this girl, who's in my homeroom, is not alone. Perhaps soon I can find some reading matter she'll enjoy.

At the end, some of them helped me tidy up and I gave away the last f the food to those who wanted it, not that there was much left. I gave Kaitlyn the rest of the cordial, which she swears she can drink neat!

Next step is to get permission for the Reading Matters excursion. It's not free, but not expensive and such a nice thing to do.

Did I ever mention I love running Book Club and the kids in it?