iPads; the perfect companion to learning outside

28th September 2016
farmer photographs larva of insect pest on boxwood

You’re in the outdoor classroom; your children find a caterpillar. You stop time to let the children examine it in detail; you guarantee that every child gets the chance to investigate it. You magnify the caterpillar to see how it eats – and make it crawl in slow motion as the class query how it moves.iPad learning
You breezily answer the torrent of questions about what it eats; what kind of butterfly it will become; and are unphased when asked what it tastes like. You seize the moment because you have to hand all the resources you need for the life cycle topic – before taking a minute to record the entire process in the children’s learning journeys.
This isn’t Utopia – it’s what you can do when you use an iPad in your outdoor learning space. A ‘mobile’ device isn’t one that can simply be moved between rooms. Having iPads nearby means that you and your class have a huge number of resources to hand at all times. It opens up new ways of developing, reviewing, integrating and recording learning – indoors and outside.
iPad leasingChildren with access to an iPad develop ownership of their learning by easily recording what’s important to them. With the caterpillar example, the quality of the iPad’s HD camera, alongside the iMovie app changes the way they can examine their latest find – and revisit it later. iMovie allows you to play back the recording, zooming in or slowing down the video when needed. By having the movie as a visual reminder, it becomes much easier to return to the discussion later in the day or week.
iMovie is incredibly intuitive – we’ve seen even the youngest children create a full production with credits, a voiceover and soundtrack. This extension work, integrating so many elements of the curriculum, engages the most hard-to-reach children, reinforces what they’ve learnt and gives your children a finished product and immense sense of achievement.
If you use the Tapestry online learning journal, you can also easily upload video and images and record learning through their iPad app – allowing parents to share their children’s achievements in real time.
Using tablets and technology as an integral part of outdoor learning may surprise some parents, but the reality is the two go hand-in-hand – a case argued compellingly by Jackie Gernstein, who started as an outdoor specialist and moved into technology.
To prove it, here’s three more ways an iPad fits perfectly with outdoor learning – at any age:

  • Using GPS. Some of your class may have experienced geocaching, others may have played Pokemon Go. The iPad’s GPS can open a wealth of opportunities, whether in PE, Maths, Science or geography, as shown on this US site.
  • Gathering, sorting and presenting mathematical data. By completing the whole process on one device, children can focus on the key concepts – and complete theiPad classroom task far more quickly – rather than switching their attention from outdoors to indoors and trying to manage clipboards, workbooks, measuring tools etc.
  • Identification and classification – using wildlife identification apps alongside video recording (which can be reviewed later to check classification decisions) takes science work far beyond traditional worksheets.

For more ideas on how you could benefit from using iPads in your school and Apple leasing, give one of our helpful sales team a call on 0207 111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk. Offering a range of tablets from the iPad to the Windows Surface we offer competitive prices, packages tailored to schools and much much more! All HardSoft school leases come with free warranty and technical support, accidental damage cover for iPads, free installation, rugged cases and training! One of our dedicated education staff will also be on hand to offer support and ideas for how to use your tablets inside- or outside the classroom.