Pencils versus iPads

This week our focus with the iPads was to create sketches of Guy Fawkes, to tie in with our ‘Eye on London’ topic. This work also linked to our modelling and simulations unit in ICT.

The objective for the lesson was ‘to investigate and use a variety of materials and techniques to create artworks’. As well as using the iPads, the children also used a variety of sketching pencils of different grades. They explored the different marks and shading they could create using these.

On the iPads we used a free app ‘Finger Sketch’. This has a range of tools which automatically produce different sketching effects. The free version does not have an eraser or undo tool. Saving work requires taking a screen grab using the power button and home button at the same time. The free version also has ads appearing at the bottom of the screen, but these are fairly unobtrusive and when not connected to Wifi they did not appear at all.

Because we have 6 iPads we split the children into groups of 6 and made it clear to the children that they would all have a turn. We told them that they would each have 10 minutes to create a drawing on the iPad and we put a timer up on the whiteboard so that they could see the timing was fair. We were very impressed with how sensibly the children used the iPads and how they were happy to pass them on when their time was finished. Even children in the last groups waited patiently for their turn and no one fussed about being last. When they were not using the iPads, the children sketched with pencils.
iPad sketch by Marcus
Pencil sketch by Marcus

All the children enjoyed the lesson and were engaged, whichever activity they were doing. The children tried very hard and made very good attempts at using the sketching pencils as well as the iPads. Generally the children found it more difficult to use the iPad but preferred this method to create their images. The finished pictures are generally good and look like Guy Fawkes although we felt that the pencil drawings were generally better than those produced on the iPads and the children agreed that the got better results with pencils. This could be due to more practice with pencils than iPads.

 Next week we will be using the iPads for maths and reading and spelling workshop.

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