|iDiary app icon|
From iTunes: " iDiary for kids is a daily journal at its core- kids can express themselves periodically: writing, drawing, decorating entries with stickers. They can easily navigate to their old entries and explore their past musings or post entries for future events through an intuitive calendar navigation system"
I use this app mainly in our Daily 5 Work on Writing time, but on occasion we will use it during our Writer's Workshop time as well. Today one of my students used the app to tell about Timmy our classroom elf (gosh there's another positive for Timmy- I'm telling you, if you don't have an elf, you definitely want to consider adopting one for next year). The best part was, she was also able to upload (easily I might add) a picture that she took of Timmy to go along with her writing. Once she was done with her entry, she was then able to share it with me via email. Email has been a fabulous tool to give students an authentic audience. After Christmas break, students will also be able to share their writing and projects with their parents via email- talk about motivating, they can't wait!!!
It's the little things like this girls writing and iPad usage that make me smile everyday! I am constantly amazed at what 1st graders really CAN do independently and how technology engages them gets them to work on things that otherwise are considered mundane or hard at times. Writing is not an easy thing for most first graders and is something that requires much practice to be good at, but with the help of apps like iDiary, Bamboo Paper, email, and others, students are excited and sometimes begging for writing time. Technology may not be the end all cure all to learning, but the engagement and time on task that it brings is a definitely a positive... as the saying goes, Practice makes progress and if kids are willing to practice then progress is right behind!!!