In the Kanoon Elementary Magnet School library, third grade
bilingual students work in groups to make videos related to
their interpretations of the book Three Billy Goats Gruff,
which they later share with second graders.
At Inter-American Elementary Magnet School, sixth grade
library students use iPads in a problem-based learning
activity where they explore the etymology of their names.
videos to the school’s second and third graders to get them
excited about reading too. Prieto reports that the students’
classroom teachers tell her that the kids—“even the quiet
ones”—are speaking more in class because they want to
share their work with others.
Mobile devices have been an important game changer for
our libraries because students don’t have to wait to access
computers to do their work, as is the case in many libraries.
“iPads have made an amazing impact on our library
program,” says Colleen Herman, the librarian at Cooper
Elementary School. “They are so easy to use and start up
so quickly, especially when compared with desktops, that
students can quickly get started on their task at hand. The
iPads are changing the ways that students are reacting to
their learning, how they share their learning, and more.”
We also love the fact that the iPads work seamlessly
alongside our print resources. For example, Kanoon El-
ementary students who were studying the parts of an insect
viewed print books from the library’s collection to research
insect anatomy. Then they used this information to create
insect diagrams using the Doodle Buddy app on their iPads.
There is no doubt that our students like the iPads. Christian,
a fourth grader at Coonley Elementary School, says, “I’m
not a very good reader, but when I read to the iPad, I sound
like a good reader!” Nora Wiltse, his librarian, shares that
“Christian … doesn’t think he’s a good reader, but when lis-
tening to himself reading, [he] was able to see how he really
uses expression.… He’s gained confidence in himself.”
Principals have responded well to the iPads as well. Ver-
nita Vallez, the principal at Inter-American Elementary
Magnet School, says, “The iPads provide the opportunity
for students to create projects that allow further dialogue,
whether it be with students in their classrooms, other
schools, or even other countries.”
Inter-American’s librarian, Fran Feeley, has used iPads
effectively to promote research and content creation
around his school’s social justice curriculum. Feeley is
a recent winner of the prestigious Jaffarian Award for
creating exemplary humanities programming in his library.
He credits the iPads with helping him extend learning to
all students simultaneously and effectively. (See iamsli-
brary.wikispaces.com for examples of how Feeley integrat-
ed iPads with his teaching.)
Just the Beginning
This has been a great journey so far, and we are excited
about where it will take us next. We’re really enthusiastic
about the opportunities to use iPads for content creation.
Our students are already creating ebooks, videos, slide-shows, podcasts, and graphics to demonstrate their learning. Check out the videos on the wiki (mobilary.wikispaces.
com/ipadsvideo) to see our students in action.
We’ve found that iPads have allowed us to put our digital
resources directly in the hands of our students in 1: 1 environments to support learning, research, and recreational
reading. Now our kids are not just consumers of information, but also creators of knowledge. And with the Mobilary program, our librarians continue to set new standards
for using iPads to support exemplary library programs.
Lisa Perez is a network library coordinator for the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries. She delivers technology training programs to librarians in her district. Perez is also a member at large of ISTE’s Special Interest Group for Media Specialists.