I have recently started to run an iPad Ambassadors after school club of about 10 pupils in a primary school. The idea of the club is to train them up as experts in the use and care of the class set of iPads and for them to act rather like Digital Leaders. They will become the experts who can support the teachers and pupils in the use and care of the iPads and promote their appropriate use on a daily basis.
Our first session covered unplugging them, getting them out of the storage cases, putting them away, checking that they are charging, switching them on and off, muting and volume control, gestures (one to five fingers!) and using the camera with Morfo.
Our second session looked at two free iBook packages – Book Creator and Story Creator. I asked the pupils to explore them both and very quickly they discovered features in Book Creator that I had overlooked. At the end of the session I asked them to rate both packages out of 5 and they gave both of them full marks! However, when we started to discuss them in more detail they decided that Book Creator was the better package. Book Creator allows you to easily add photos, video, text, and sound, edit the background and export as an iBook or pdf to Dropbox or similar. Story Creator could do some but not all of these things, looks to be aimed at younger children, did allow freehand drawing on the screen but the biggest limitation was that the finished book could only be exported to the developer’s website and not to Dropbox or other cloud storage. Also, since Story Creator seems to be aimed at younger children it seemed a bit strange that the preferred method of logging in to the website was via Facebook!
So far the iPad Ambassadors have enjoyed what they have done showing great enthusiasm even when the iOS7 update reduced our last session to only four iPads. I am looking forward to hearing back from the teachers and the pupils how their skills and responsibilities affect their learning and behaviour over the next few months.