I am not a MAC person; let me get that out there right at
the get go. Never interested in purchasing the various ‘i’ anythings. When my
office decided to purchase a tablet to use as an in-class recording device, I
searched hard to try and justify a non-‘i’ product. However, it proved hard to
justify anything but the iPad. In
this case, it clearly outshined other similar products. And, the choice
justified itself almost immediately.
I teach every year at a large public school with a
substantial English Language Learner (ELL) population, guiding groups of ELLs
to create small performance pieces. This year I used the iPad to videotape
their rehearsals. Having the
students be able to immediately see their work, reflect on it and review it to
confirm what choices needed to be strengthened proved to be the most effective
performance-based reflect tool I have used with these students. Although
previous students were aware of the importance and need of such skills as
volume, they struggled with recognizing their true effect. Listening and comparing themselves to
others worked for some, but others were convinced of their own effectiveness
because they could only see it from their own vantage point. In other words,
they were their own audience and that audience felt satisfied.
The results of the iPad were almost immediate. Comparing this
year to previous years at this school, the students quickly and efficiently
became more cognizant of simple skills such as placement on the stage, volume,
pacing, and clarity of gesture. In addition, their ability to self-reflect
grew. The evidence presented was
irrefutable. They heard and saw
themselves from the vantage point of the audience and now they could truly
experience the perspective needed to help them improve on their own.
I have not used the iPad for anything else at this point,
but as a reflective tool the iPad is unchallenged.