Getting Started with Apple Pencil

This year we have a Year 4 class who all have their own Apple pencil for the first time. Once the logistics have been sorted and all the pencils are charged and paired, how do we begin to introduce the use of them in authentic ways?

One of the things we can do is encourage our students to be creative and design their own images, rather than always ‘googling’ to find one and then use this for a writing prompt.

We used the Safari browser to access AutoDraw and then using our pencils we created our own images. Depending on your purpose of the task they might be designing an image to show something they have learned, or in our case, as we were going to use this for a writing task, the students drew something they wanted to write about. They loved using their pencils to create with!

Using AutoDraw also offered us a moment to talk about how computers actually worked. How did the computer know what we were trying to draw? Some very interesting ideas were offered before we looked at Quick Draw, its data set, and the connection between the two sites.

Tip: Use a timer for the drawing stage to keep students focused.  (I usually use 10 minutes) and display this on the board. It’s amazing what being able to see how long you have and knowing you will be held to this time can do for your productivity.)

Once time was up, we used our Apple pencil to take a screenshot. (We had checked at the beginning that we all had this setting on for our pencils.) This was a great learning moment for many!

After cropping our screenshot so that it only included just what we needed to have in our image we then saved it to our Photos.

Our last step was to open a Pages doc that had been airdropped to us using Apple Classroom. We talked about our learning focus, inserted our image, recorded our main ideas using the dictation option on our keyboard and then used our Apple pencil to write our story.

This was such a fun session with great engagement by the students while offering an authentic opportunity to use our new Apple pencils.

A template of the Pages file is included below if you want to give it a go.


1 reply

April 06, 2024

So many skills and such creativity in one lesson! 🤩 Amazing work, donngo!

Apple Pencil FTW! 🙌

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