St Mary’s Primary School student Ethan Magnussen, 10, displays some of his French language class work on an iPad.
St Mary’s Primary School student Ethan Magnussen, 10, displays some of his French language class work on an iPad. Claudia Baxter

Kids say bonjour to iPad learning

ST MARY'S Primary School children are saying "Vive le iPad" as one lucky Year 5 class uses the new technology to learn French.

Teacher Katie McGuren said using iPads was "much more interactive and really engaged students in learning".

"We're using games, translators, voice recorders and other apps to explore French, which helps to keep a lot of students interested," Ms McGuren said.

Ethan Magnussen, 10, said the new iPads definitely beat books.

"They're more fun, because sometimes we get to make videos and sock puppets," Ethan explained.

As part of their lessons, students often direct and voice their own sock puppet video animations - in French, of course.

Ethan proudly showed off a video in which he and a classmate greet, banter and farewell each other in true French sock puppet character.

Ms McGuren said she had applied for funding for the iPads through Brisbane Catholic Education, and had introduced them into her class in September.

"We're trialling the iPads as one of many schools across the BCE area, and we might see a wider roll-out in the future," she said.

Of the 20 iPads purchased by the school, 16 are used by the class, and the remaining four were given to the learning support unit.

"They come in really handy at the learning support classroom, and we also use them in our classroom for maths and a few other lessons," Ms McGuren said.

As well as learning French, the students are also developing another kind of literacy - in technology.

"It took me a while to figure out how to use them (the iPads), but the kids have picked up on it all," Ms McGuren said.

The class has recently published a blog, which is updated with translation work, video highlights and class goals.



  • More than 15 million iPads have been sold this year.
  • The average iPad user downloads more than 60 apps.
  • 37% of about 65,000 iPad apps are free.

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