Ringwood North Primary School
Ringwood North Primary School began the iPads for Learning Trial in Semester Two, 2010 with 136 Years 4 and 5 students. As a leader in the integration of technology into learning, Ringwood North continues to innovate and share its journey with a worldwide audience.
Ringwood North Primary School is located in the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne. The school has a reputation for its use of Digital Technologies, and its Visual and Performing Arts programs. The use of information communication technologies is integrated in all curriculum areas particularly in the senior years. A whole school focus on Literacy and Numeracy aims to improve students’ knowledge, understanding and application of these study areas.
Specialist programs that are available to students include art, music, physical education and a Language Other Than English – Indonesian. Students may choose to learn an instrument of their choice. Ringwood North staff includes a Principal, 2 Assistant Principals, 11 Expert Teachers, 4 Accomplished Teachers, 12 Graduate Teachers and 9 Administrative and Teacher Aides.
The school has 21 year-level based classrooms in a variety of configurations. Prep students participate in a developmental based curriculum under the guise of "investigations". Throughout the remainder of the school, integrated curriculum studies take into account student’s backgrounds and learning needs.
iPads in Action
Ringwood North Primary School already has a strong emphasis on the application of Apple technologies to support and extend learning, through digital storytelling, podcasting, animations and movie making. The school sees the iPad as another step forward – an opportunity for it to revisit and challenge their views on curriculum and make learning even more relevant and engaging.
Epic Citadel Challenge
Teachers at Ringwood North Primary School created the Epic Citadel Challenge. The Epic Citadel Challenge involved educators and students collaborating to create a digital story based on the Epic Citadel environment and then sharing the story and reflections globally. The Epic Citadel app is an 82.2Mb free download where players navigate in a dynamic fantasy setting, exploring the world, from the bridge overlooking the river to the mysterious cathedral at the centre of town. The Epic Citadel app is available for the iPhone, latest iPod touches and iPad.
“As the project developed, it became more about the connections being made through the use of technology. Students and teachers from opposite sides of the globe collaborating, sharing ideas, providing feedback for one another’s work, and as teachers, having the opportunity to work with other enthusiastic educators,” Teacher, Ringwood North Primary School.
Here’s the Epic Citadel Challenge students were set:
- create a digital story utilizing photos from the app Epic Citadel
- the digital story may include text, or it may not. It may be a collage, a poem. It is entirely up to you, as long as it tells some sort of story
- use any apps you like to create your story
- your story must be no more than 3 minutes
- all finished stories must include a short reflection by the student before being uploaded.
- Please answer these questions How did you create your story? What worked well? What didn't? What skills do you think you have learnt in completing this task?
Ideas to get started
- sequence your pictures in Keynote in order to add text to your snapshots
- create a short film in Reel Director where you can include transitions, audio and even record a voiceover
- use Doodle Buddy to stamp new characters over the top of the pictures
- use Strip Design to create a comic. Insert pictures into frames, add text and speech bubbles
- use apps that allow you to compose your own music to create a soundtrack or ambience.
“It has been exciting to see the interest in this project, and where schools in other parts of the world have taken this challenge. It has provided many memorable teaching moments in my class, as my students shared in the successes of their English colleagues, enjoyed making comments on their work, and sharing their own ideas with people from all over the world,” Teacher, Ringwood North Primary School.
Porchester Junior School in Nottingham, United Kingdom also contributed to the Epic challenge http://www.porchester.notts.sch.uk
This is an image of the coastline in Epic Citadel created by Zunaira. She used the Brushes app to create a piece of professional looking artwork.
Zunaira selected an image from Epic Citadel, and placed it as a layer in Brushes. She added a transparent layer above the image and drew an outline over the original image. Once she had drawn the outline, she deleted the original image and then coloured the outline in. Zunaira also created a short story about her artwork.
Challenge Based Learning
Adam Brice and two other Ringwood North Primary School staff members travelled to Texas in January 2011 to attend Apple's Challenge Based Learning Program workshop. They were the only school from Australia invited because of their involvement with Apple; the Victorian iPads for Learning Trial; and the work they have been doing with Challenge Based Learning.
The program explores the role of Challenge Based Learning with schools collaborating to develop units of work that will be implemented in 2011, and will be reviewed upon completion of the program.
“With so much success in the last few months of the year, I have seen the impact Challenge Based Learning has had on our students as they engage in meaningful tasks that promote curiosity and differentiation,” explained a Teacher, Ringwood North Primary School.
Ringwood North Primary School teachers provide the following tips:
- The ability to take 'snapshots' on these devices by holding down the Power button and Home button at the same time opens up many opportunities for digital storytelling.
- Some students are using six or seven different apps to construct the product for the task set by the teacher. The teacher does not have to be the expert in every app.
Student Created Tutorials
For homework, the students in Years 4 & 5 at Ringwood North were asked to create a short tutorial of no more than 2 minutes on their favourite educational app. Here are the instructions students were given for this task.
The tutorial should include:
- the name of the app
- the cost, if there is one
- a description of what the app does
- a rundown of the different buttons and symbols, and what they do
- how they like using the app in the classroom. What subjects is the app suited to?
- no more than 2 minutes long.
As part of the trial, Ringwood North Primary school have created an interactive website to:
- document their progress
- share experiences, issues and answers to problems
- share how the iPads are going in the classroom
- share new resources and applications for downloading.
Visit the Ringwood North Primary School iPad trial website at http://ipadtrial.posterous.com/
One of the most exciting things about the iPad has been the opportunity for students to personalise their learning - through selecting the tools that best suit their needs, as well as a the opportunity for reflecting upon their learning. Ringwood North Primary School will continue to monitor new apps as they become available and develop appropriate challenges for students to tackle.
“It has been exciting to see the interest in this project, and where schools in other parts of the world have taken this challenge," Teacher, Ringwood North Primary School.