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


  1. I think it is so great that your students were able to work at their own pace. They were engaged and the activities were meaningful. How many iPads do you have? I have 10. We used the keynote app today in pairs to create a slide show on how we build from a simple sentence to a genius paragraph.

    1. I am really fortunate and have a class set that stays in my classroom. The students are able to work consistently on the same iPad. Once in awhile, I will have them use a single iPad in partners or a group. It is an interesting phenomenon!

      I love the way you used Keynote for building simple sentences into paragraphs. What a cool idea! I think the potential for using Keynote is definitely there. :)

  2. Hi Leah,
    I love this type of lesson as it totally follows the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. Allowing students to work at their own pace, providing options for student learning (voice or reading text) fall into those categories of Allowing for multiple means of representation, engagement and expression. You may think that this wasn't a creative lesson when in fact it is and based on sound pedagogy. I so love learning from you! (Sure wish we had iPads at our Level! - only in Kindergarten at this time).

    1. Thanks, Nancy! Sometimes I have to pull myself back and go back to best practices. I don't have to always go with projects. I loved the way the students worked at their own pace! And, I love the opportunities iTalk give me to support my emerging readers. :)
      I wish you had a set of iPads, too.
      And, I love connecting and learning from you.