i love technology!

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)

My observations:

  • 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.

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8 thoughts on “i love technology!

  1. Sounds great Ed. What year level are your students? How many ipod touches did you get for your class? I’m thinking of getting some for our school, so I love reading about how people are using them.

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  2. Technology really is a roller coaster and a love-hate relationship! One minute you’re SO frustrated and saying you hate technology and the next you have a moment where you realise why you love technology! I’m glad it’s not just me!

    I’m glad we have the resilience and belief in technology to ride through the bad times! Also nothing beats the thrill of solving a technology problem!

    My Grade Two students love using the iPod Touches, I only wish I had more! Enjoy using them!!

    Kathleen

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  3. Its posts like this that makes me jealous of primary school teachers – ipod touches sound great for your classrooms! But I really do want to explore those little microphones – they look great.

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  4. Your observations are spot on, ease of use and time saved. So much more learning can be done where the technology doesn’t take over the task. Technology becomes transparent. Students are turned on to learning with the iPods. I now have parents supplying their own ipods for their children in grade 1&2. Excited teachers, excited students learning happens. Your journey begins, have fun and thanks for your post.

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  5. Ease of use is why my school is a Mac environment!🙂

    We have Nanos and Touches. I find that we make most of our own content (podcasts) in GarageBand and load them on our iPods. We have recorded our own stories and listened to them on the iPods as well. Students always give each other feedback. We’re always scouting around for free educational podcasts, too, especially video ones. Students love to watch them as a part of their studies.

    I like the microphone idea. Sounds quick.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. What lucky students! The learning possibilities with the touch are out of this world. I handed my students the iPad today and they took to it like a duck to water. They were so in their element and having a great time manipulating words, practicing math, and looking at constellations they didn’t want to leave when the bell rang.
    If you are looking for some good free iPod Touch apps, I wrote a magazine last year with 100 of my favorites http://issuu.com/ktenkely/docs/ilearn_2
    Have fun!

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