Yesterday I blogged ‘I hate technology’. As predicted by the first comment on that post, today I love technology again!
We recently acquired a set of iPod Touch for classroom use. As a way to encourage innovation, the principal had offered a $5000 grant for each of 3 projects to enhance student learning. We put in a submission for a set of iPods and were successful!
They have just been set up and I decided to give them a try today. The Voice Memo app seemed like a great way to practise second language skills. For a few dollars each, we have bought tiny microphones like the one in the picture. The task was to interview a partner in Hebrew, based on the current topic of study, incorporating newly learned vocabulary. The kids were extremely excited, very little explanation was required and they went off to their corners to record.
Here’s what the students said:
- I never imagined the school would get ipods! (Jay)
- It was fun and a different way of learning. (Lele)
- It was a good way to learn the new words by actually using them, while having fun at the same time. (Tahni)
- When we played it back, we could hear our mistakes and correct them. (Allegra) (That one is my favourite. Ed)
- I love the iPods (and Apple in general, I assume) for sheer ease of use. None of the usual teething problems when trying something new. No delay for logging in as we have on the school computers. No time was wasted and the task was done really quickly!
- The kids were really engaged and self motivated and had lots of fun learning! I could have packed up and gone home and no-one would have been any the wiser.
- Why would we need to use Audacity for podcasting, unless we want to do something more complicated? This is just so simple. Even non-techy teachers will cope… well, they won’t have to, they can hand over to the students.
- Fiona used the Voice Memo app in the library for some book discussion today and was similarly successful. Kids from both classes were heard continuing to discuss their experiences in the playground at lunchtime. Always a good sign!
- I’m looking forward to using them for other things… So are the students!
- I predict that mobile devices will be used more and more at schools. This is technology the students are already comfortable with and extending its application to learning simply makes sense.