Friday, March 23, 2012

I promise you...

I had the coolest conversation today with a student...
interestingly enough it followed this video:

The Most Amazing Fact by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Student: So, are we like the biggest example of recycling ever?
Me: Absolutely. That's a really cool way to think about it.
Student: And, we are really super stars!
Me: Yep.
Student: Science is all around me.
Me: True.
Student: Once you start seeing science, you can't unsee it.
Me: I promise!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, March 9, 2012

iTalk + Dropbox to support Emerging Readers!

Just some ideas of how my students and I utilized our iPads today...

Our work flow:

It was a self paced day for students from start to finish. They had a general To Do list in activities that would help nail down the science content we've been exploring all week.

The students started class by working in the MentalCase app. They were recording their voices and drawings for magnetic energy with the definitions to help build their vocabulary cases. (Mental Case app)

Then, they moved into a quick "Big Idea" hunt through the text book by using a google form that I created and linked to the class web page. (Book + Safari app + Google Form)

This is where iTalk and Dropbox app comes in...

iTalk is a really simple audio recording app that has some great benefits. While it is easy to use, it is also easy to send the files for later use. I sent them to our DropBox account that all iPads are set up for. (You can email your files for later listening as well, which I frequently do to capture student ideas/answers.)

Today, I used it to pre-record sections of the book that I wanted my students to focus on. I simply recorded, renamed it the number of the book pages, and dropped it into our Dropbox. Easy, slick, quick!

The independence that this simple support gave my emerging readers...PRICELESS! They simply used their headphones and were able to continue working on their own, at their own pace!

This led into a viewing of the BrainPop video for Electromagnets. (BrainPop app)

Students completed a quick exit ticket by answering 6 questions in Study Island dealing with Electromagnets. (Safari app)

Then, they went and built one with all the fun materials on the side shelf!

I recognize that this is not the most creative or exciting way to use the iPad in the classroom. But, because my students have had time and experience with all the apps, I was able to give them the To Do list and have them work at their own pace. I didn't have to trouble shoot any tech issues. If anyone had a problem, they asked another learner in the room. I was able to complete more verbal assessments.

And, there are probably half a dozen voice recording apps along with even more vocabulary apps to use. The underlying thoughts here are:
-Use what works with your students. Have them help select!
-Use it frequently on a scaffolded method to build independence.
-Use the tools to differentiate and support your emerging learners.

Do you have any recommendations for iPad apps or methodology to share?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad