Don’t mistake activity for achievement.-John Wooden
In a recent post, I wrote about moving beyond apps and concentrating your focus on content. What are your students learning, why are they learning it and how will they know they’ve learned it? As I unpack the common core standards with my students, I am focusing heavily on these questions…not so that I can answer them, but so that they can answer them. With these questions in place and iPads in hand, we need to look beyond apps and instead focus on workflow fluency.
If you look up the definition of workflow, you find:
- The flow or progress of work done by a company, industry, department, or person.
- The rate at which such flow or progress takes place.
The flow of progress…how can my students demonstrate the flow of progress? Just because they are interacting with an app does not mean they are learning. iPad activity should be purposeful and connected. It should also be personalized to what that particular child needs.
Workflow and iPads allow students to redefine their work. The technology allows for the creation of new tasks previously inconceivable. It is transformative. After our recent thematic unit on penguins, my students created their own books in Book Creator. This started with their own illustrations in Doodle Buddy which were imported into their book in Book Creator. The students wrote sentences to go with their own illustrations. Taking this a little further, students took some of their individual illustrations and labeled them using Explain Everything. They were able to record themselves explaining their work. While the apps I used in this are great, there are others that do similar things. Some of them are free. Pic Collage is another way to demonstrate workflow and it’s free. The take away here is that students are able to use the iPad to demonstrate what they’ve learned and can use apps to explain in their own words what they’ve learned.
As we are striving to make learning more personal, we should teach our students about workflow fluency. By using the iPad to demonstrate workflow, our students are engaged, thinking critically, and are using skills of a 21st century learner. Even the youngest among us can do it.
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