Using the iPad to Develop Student Agency

Through agentic action, people devise ways of adapting flexibly to remarkably diverse geographic, climatic and social environments; they figure out ways to circumvent physical and environmental constraints, redesign and construct environments to their liking… By these inventive means, people improve their odds in the fitness survival game. -Albert Bandura, 1989

Agency is the capacity to take purposeful initiative. Bandura’s quote above is a timeless reminder of the need for human beings to construct their own environments-including their learning environments. However, agency goes beyond just voice and choice. It is giving students the ability to actually own their education. It means strengthening growth mindsets in our students as well as in ourselves as educators. It means focusing on student learning and not on grades. It means creating a student-centered culture where students have choice in their learning pathways.

In our kindergarten class, we have found using the iPad is a great way to encourage student agency, particularly in literacy. By incorporating choice into our writing curriculum, students are more engaged in their writing across the curriculum. See a video on choice writing here.  When students use creation apps as a way to demonstrate concepts, they are creating new learning in deeper meaningful ways. You can read more about that here. 

Whether students are writing on paper…

Mackenzie

Or on their iPad…

IMG_0035

Or they are demonstrating math or science concepts….

 

dicepopplet

 

 

 

 

 

Student agency is encouraged as individuals choose activities and extend their learning. Agency requires collaboration between both student and teacher. This partnership depends on developing meaningful relationships with students. The iPad provides students with opportunities to create learning, expand learning, and share learning with authentic audiences beyond the classroom. This empowers students and encourages ownership.

Look at the ways you are incorporating technology into student learning and determine how much of their time is spent consuming content and how much time is spent creating it. By taking a look at our pedagogical practices, we can make minor changes to empower students and encourage agency.

 

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2 thoughts on “Using the iPad to Develop Student Agency

  1. Hi Kristi

    I was talking with a teacher about your Pete the Cat books. Do you have any posted anywhere? Or any book creator books posted somewhere?

    Thanks

    Cyndy Everest, M.Ed., Senior Specialist Apple Professional Learning Apple 505-504-2216 http://www.apple.com/education/apd

    This email and any attachments may be privileged and may contain confidential information intended only for the recipient(s) named above. Any other distribution, forwarding, copying or disclosure of this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify me immediately by telephone or return email, and delete this message from your system.

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