Guest post by Linda. @lindawollan
At the beginning of the year our principal offered grants for three initiatives in our school proposing innovative educational programs. With some imagination, our head of Learning Resource Fiona (@fionannbir) proposed the acquisition of a class set of iPod Touches. They would allow her to implement an e-reading program in the school, as well as encouraging podcasting and voice recording, especially for second language learning. She was awarded one of the grants and we purchased our first set of iTouches.
On further investigation we’ve realised what rich learning these motivating devices can bring about for children. Fiona and I recently attended the Slide to Learn Mobile Event, put together by teachers from all over Australia who are finding real benefits using these devices in an educational setting. You can meet the team here.
I highly recommend having a look at the site – there are links to live sessions from the conference, as well as people with great information that they willingly share. One of the highlights was an international session with Tony Vincent, whose blog Learning in Hand gives fantastic practical advice. He talked us through creating podcasts and narrated slideshows using the voice memo capability in combination with sites like Posterous.
Further sessions showed how apps like Reel Director and Sonic Pics allow students to be creators of content, rather than consumers. Some schools have decided to go 1:1, with either student or school-owned devices; others have gone down the class set route like us. Either way, there are operational, strategic and technical issues to be addressed.
These are exciting devices which provide another tool to enhance student learning and we’ve taken a small step on our journey.