Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Writing a Research Paper in a 1:1 iPad Classroom

Fun days! The end of the year can be a difficult time for teachers and students, but we are really enjoying our research project. 


Each student will turn in a research paper to me and then present their research to the class using an app on their iPad.


I am being pretty specific on these, so they know exactly what I am expecting.


1. Research - We have access to encyclopedias through our school library webpage. My students are using these resources to gather much of their information. I also said they could look up zoo websites or other websites, but I am not letting them use Wikipedia. We had to talk about that because they wanted to use it.

When they found an article they wanted to use, I showed them how to copy & paste the information from the article into the Notes app along with the MLA citing information. They have it cited for you! At the bottom of each article, you will find 3 different methods of citing resources all formatted and ready to go.

    I recorded that mini-lesson using AirServer if you are interested in seeing how I showed the kids what to do. Click here to see the post.

2. Images - I have talked about using Britannica Image Quest and how great a resource it is. We are using it again for the picture on our cover page and the images in our presentations.

3. Writing the research paper - We had to really discuss how to use the research to guide our writing. Some students just wanted to copy & paste straight into their paper! It took quite a bit of explaining and rephrasing to get my point across. I always found this to be a difficult part of writing a research paper. 

     My school district bought Google Apps for all students and teachers, so my kids have access to Google docs. (After downloading the new Docs app, which was launched May 1, we were ready to get started.)

    Key features of Google docs & why I chose it for their writing
  • Web based for seamless transition between devices - We are doing the bulk of our writing on the iPads, but I will have them polish it in the Computer Lab before they print.
  • Basic formatting is available
  • Sharing settings allow me to view their work in progress
  • The commenting feature is a great way for me to help them edit and revise their work in real time.
Here are two student examples:

When you highlight a word or words and click the comment button, you can help your students make a change. 

You can see our comments back and forth on this paper. She sent me a question and I answered. Then we were able to talk back and forth. There are many more comments, but I couldn't show them all.

4. Creating a Presentation - I have 2 kids who are finished with their papers. They are working on a presentation. Mostly they have been playing around with different apps, trying to decide which one will be the best. I told them they could use any app other than Tellagami (it is too short), Puppet Pals (no images), and PhotoCard (too short and only 1 image).

I know they are going to present some awesome research. I will share their final products after they present. Do your kids like research? How have you used an iPad to facilitate research?

Any suggestions?


Unknown said...

Never imagined this little machine could be of a lot assistance to me within my research paper writing. Like a student I've found myself investing additional time using iPad for doing a lot of my academic work.

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