Friday, September 24, 2010


Pages forms a major part of what, in the old lapt world, is called Apple's 'iwork' suite.
I have been using it ever since it replaced Appleworks as the Mac alternative to Microsoft Word.
Pages is in essence a tool for creating documents and already, having it in the hands of any pupil, any time is a powerful tool for transforming the way we teach.
I'll give you an example. At the bottom of this post I've included some pieces of writing by my P7 children. This was a follow up task to a lesson on adjectives and creative writing.
The lesson ran roughly as follows:

First we read together an extract from Tom's Midnight Garden, a well-known childrens book. Then we discussed in pairs, groups and as a wider group the way language made the passage successful and the use of adjectives and creative language.
The children then opened the iPad, opened Pages and planned an introduction to a story using a common theme: that an old grandfather clock became a tool for travelling back in time.
Once the plan was roughly drafted, they moved straight to writing the piece, with breaks every ten minutes or so for reflection and peer coaching.

This is substantially what I would have done in the old days of pencils and paper.

So what's the big deal?

Writing lessons traditionally involve a process: introducing, planning, writing, proofing and finally, re-drafting.
This has in the past been a long and protracted process involving a first draft, and final draft and possible some in between.
With every child on the iPad, we incorporated all these stages into our single lesson, kept the children highly motivated and produced excellent work, in a morning.

They then emailed their work to me to mark and post on the class blog when finished.

This represents but one use for an app that has many; templates, posters, personal writing, invitations and functional pieces and so on.
It has increased motivation, built typing skills, helped spelling and punctuation, enabled beautiful presentation and easy display, all in one beautiful little package!

Thanks Pages, thanks iPad!

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