I’m really experimenting with different apps for different purposes at the moment. There is no point in my having an iPad if I do not use it. So I’ve been taking advice from anyone who is willing and up for guiding me (hint, hint).
Nina Jackson advised me to try Skitch. It’s a sibling of Evernote which is a well-known note taking app. With this app, a photo or map can be quickly annotated. It’s great and I think will have real value in any school or nursery particularly when children are playing with loose parts. These are open-ended materials with no fixed purpose.
For example if a child is busy building something or creating, one of the most frustrating things which can happen is for an adult to start asking questions. Children need to be able to get into the flow of learning. It’s a bit like trying to read a great novel. If you are constantly interrupted, it’s hard to focus on the story and it’s much easier to lose the plot.
As teachers, practitioners or play workers this is the time to step back and let children get on with their task. The discussions can come later. Taking photos of children playing can be beneficial and that’s when Skitch can help. Also if you cannot leave children’s creations standing but have to tidy up at the end of a session then this app is even more valid.
If you look at both photos, the ideas that children have, can be captured. Now at this point you need to know that both of these photos are taken during a play workshop during one very wet afternoon. If I was more patient, I’d be waiting to try this with children first before sharing on my blog. However, I wanted some practice first.
I particularly like the free pen facility. This is shown by the water and also the wobbly yellow arrows. This means that very young children can explain movement or add their own meaning to a photo. This can also happen promptly. A photo taken using an iPad can be annotated outside or can wait until later.
I would be interested to know how other teachers are using this app or similar ones as part of their observations and discussions with children. I’m keen to experiment this year and will let you know how I get on.