I recently attended and presented at a Speed Learning event as St Silas Primary in Liverpool. I provided a staff inset at the school where I shared different ideas of how I use the iPad to get the children engaged and then to create. I am always pleased to see some of those ideas being used. You can see the great work the school is producing on their school blog - http://stsilasblog.net/. It was during the keynote presentation from @digitalroadtrip at the start of the Speed Learning event that the phrase "Camouflage Learning," was introduced. The idea that children are learning by doing activities where they feel they are "playing" is something I am always trying to promote. It is the perfect way to get disengaged/reluctant learners on board and almost trick them into writing/reading/solving problems. Nothing sums this phrase up more than the work produced by children when the focus has been the iPad games they are obsessed with - Angry Birds and Temple Run. You can read the post here.
If you were to ask children what they had done in many of the lessons, some would say they had just played their favourite games, which to some extent is true. I usually had five minutes planned for children to play the game at the start or end of the lesson. However what some may miss telling you is that during the topic they learnt and created vocabulary word walls, character and setting descriptions, comics, stories, instructions, non chronological reports, game play recounts... the list is endless. Using these games as the stimulus and focus in class promotes that mantle of the expert philosophy too. Children are experts in these games, they know how to play, the different parts to the games and teachers can play the 'dummy' role adding more responsibility on the children to produce work which is written correctly, including all the right features. As the children know so much about the games it also means teachers can really focus on the features of a specific text. In the past I have taught non chronological reports about volcanoes, children then have to learn all the information about volcanoes on top of learning the features of the text. For some, it can be too much and focusing on all the information can mean features fall by the wayside.
Here are some of the examples of Camouflage Learning I have used with iPads:
- Epic Citadel
- Theme Park
- Creating Match of the Day programmes
- Fruit Ninja Maths
- Dragons in Davyhulme
- Aliens invade Davyhulme