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Explore, Discover, Learn…using an iPad


Embracing the use of iPads at the Living Planet Centre

Here at WWF, we’re always seeking out tools that can make learning creative and exciting for pupils. So when the idea of using iPad’s came up, we saw this had huge potential for our workshops for primary schools.

Sythwood pupils working together on their ebooks. Copyright: Alison PeachamSythwood pupils working together on their ebooks. Copyright: Alison Peacham

We wanted hands-on learning and interactive materials to suit a wide variety of ages and learning levels. The video, camera and voice recording tools on the iPad are extremely easy and fun to use, providing endless possibilities for pupils to produce creative content – an ideal medium for building understanding of environmental and sustainability issues.

Having sought advice from teachers and trainers who are experts in the field of using iPads creatively in the classroom, we invested in 16 iPads with a syncing and charging trolley, and researched useful apps. Then we were ready to go!

We ran the first ‘Amazing Amazon’ workshop in the Learning Zone with pupils from Sythwood Primary School in Woking. They worked with our schools and youth team, and award-winning author Christiane Dorion, to create their own ebook about the Amazon rainforest. The visit began with pupils taking part in a world treasure hunt around the WWF Experience – a series of four themed interactive exhibition areas.

Back in the Learning Zone, Christiane demonstrated how she created the pop-up book ‘How Animals Live,’ which is a hands-on guide to amazing animals and their habitats. She inspired them with exciting things to discover in the natural world and revealed her top tips on making their pages interesting – using riddles, questions, photos, drawings and amazing facts.

Pupils having fun with props and video recording © Alison PeachamPupils having fun with props and video recording © Alison Peacham

The group was divided into four teams and pupils took on the role of intrepid explorers, finding inspiration in our resources and a few fun props to create innovative content for their ebook, using the Book Creator app. The workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Author Christiane said “It was such good fun to work with the children and I am always amazed by their curiosity and creativity. They soon got into their roles of scientific explorers and created lovely books on their iPads, using images, texts, drawings and short films to tell us all about the rainforest. By researching an animal of their choice, the children are encouraged to reflect on how a tiny change can have a huge impact on the whole habitat and beyond”.

Lizzie Goldsbrough from the schools and youth team said about the workshop: “I’ve never seen the children so engaged and excited about their task. They loved getting into the role of an Amazon explorer and telling us about the species they found”

Sythwood Cedar class really enjoyed themselves. Here are a few quotes from the pupils:

“We were happy because we got to use the iPad, record videos and get photos of animals.” Kieran, aged 9

“I really enjoyed myself because we got to use the wigs and props to make videos.” Asma, aged 9

“I really enjoyed all of the different zones because I learnt new facts in there.” Bailey, aged 9

“I really enjoyed it when we got to see the author and when she told us about how to write non-fiction texts.” Jacob, aged 9

“I really enjoyed when we got to go into the different zones but especially when my partner and I made an ebook.” Josh, aged 9

Two girls acting as budding Amazon reporters. Copyright: Alison Peachampupils acting as budding Amazon reporters. Copyright: Alison Peacham

The ‘Amazing Amazon’ workshop provides great opportunities to help pupils meet the core learning objectives for Science, English, Geography and Computing. After the visit, pupil’s ebooks are put together by the Schools and youth team and sent to the school. Pupils are then encouraged to share their learning and their ebook in story telling sessions with younger pupils.

We don’t charge for our workshops and provide a fantastic educational experience for primary school groups so they can learn about the natural world and the actions they can take to protect our planet.

If you are connected to a school who you think would benefit from our workshops, why not find out more about our work with schools and how we can help you.

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