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Milestone 3 Report - Pukekohe Intermediate - Ipod Touches.

Year level: 7&8

Context: iPod touch Integration

Research model used: Trial and Error, twitter follows, online research, interviews with students and teachers

Intentions: To successfuly integrate 21 iPod touches into the two digital classes.

Impact on students/teachers/whanau:

Before the 21 iod touches were purchased the two teachers running the digital classes were given an Ipod to "play" with for the holidays.  As the teacher in charge of ICT, I worked witht the touches to get them ready for the classroom. This involved some time syncing the devices and getting them on our network.  Mail was also set up for each device so that work could be shared easily.  I am still the go to person when issues arise. Having my own iPhone has made trouble shooting the devices much easier.

After much trial and error the iPods were eventually working well on our network. Static IP addresses were needed for this to occur. This contines to be problematic at times, students are now trained to put the info back into the touches.

Teachers have really had to adapt the way that teaching and learning happens as the iPod touches bring a very new aspect of learning to the class.  To start with we kept the 21 ipods as a set that could be used by either class.  Charging of the devices was tricky like this.  We have now split the set so that each class has 10 touches. This has made life much easier and has allowed for the touches to charge through the desktops in each room.  It has also meant that the tools are being used much more in class.

At the moment we are experimenting with different apps, many being content consumption rather than creation, however the camera is being used often for various project.  Students have also successfully recorded speeches as practice which were then emailed to themselves for reflection.  The iPods come in very handy for research, having the email system up and going means that students are able to send things to themselves for use in other areas.

Links to your actual reflection

http://pukeroom39-2011.wikispaces.com/Aiden+Writing

http://pukeroom39-2011.wikispaces.com/shani+writing

Scroll to see the leap frog procedure, photos taken using the touch were then emailed and downloaded to allow for use on own document

 

Links to classroom practice

From the students

http://pukekohecluster.wikispaces.com/Pukekohe+Intermediate

Altertnatively download the file attached below.

Listen to what the students have to say about the ipods in their learning environment.

 

From the teachers:

Please also open the files attached to see an example of how the iPods have been used in a maths rotation.

The two teachers using the iPods in class gave me this feedback.  Their responses are colour coded below.

1. What were the biggest issues when beginning to implement the Ipod touches?

How to keep them safe and have them charged read to go with access that required minimal disruption to class programme. I was super paranoid about how easy they would be to steal.
Once we came up with some ways to deal with this, I was able to relax a bit and the next issue that arose was getting them on the network and keeping them on it. They seemed to jump off for no reason at all! Very frustrating!

The main issue with the touches was the strange connecting problems we had initially and there are still some fluctuating issues with this still.  We also have issues with the email and this has put us off using them to create notes to then email to ourselves. I think that we need some 'experts' trained with the technical side of them, so that issues can be resolved quickly

2. Now that you have had them a while, how are you finding using them in class? What you found to be the most useful?

We now just have them plugged in and charging to our desktops so it is really easy on spur of the moment to say ' grab an ipod and try this, or look at this'.
Apart from the obvious benefit of being able to research and find info or  definitions easily, they were fantastic for recording and timing speeches. The camera function has been amazing and the kids are so quick at taking pictures and emailing them to themselves so they can then go and import them into documents, presentations or onto their wiki pages.
We have recently used them to photograph stages of making an origami leapfrog so they can write a procedure with their corresponding photos to illustrate each step. So easy and what motivation to ensure each step is covered.
Also a great was to capture work in books or on paper rather than the teacher having to go and scan.
To ensure we are making the most of having these devices, I have structured them into my planned literacy and numeracy rotations with set applications nominated, particularly for spelling and basic facts.

We are using them lots in class - for photos, videos, sound recording - the kids really enjoy this side of them and probably is most useful at this point in time.  We also use  the applications - whirly word, word games etc which are quite enjoyable.
It would be good to be able to do wiki stuff on them and to use learning tools like study ladder, active maths and what not.
 

 

3. Are there still issues with the devices?

Unfortunately we do still have issues with the network dropping off at times.

4. What do you  see as the next step for you as a teacher using the devices?

Continuing to search out appropriate applications to enhance our learning programme. This can be incredibly time consuming but important to ensure students are getting bored or wasting time.

We now need to get into using them more as a research tool and be able to use them anywhere around the school, connecting to the internet.

 

5. Are the students keen to use them?

Extremely keen! It is better now though that it isn't such a novelty I think. We had the initial introduction time where it was just a 'game' but I think more and more the students are realising how these benefit their learning.

 

6. Any last thoughts on the iPod touch as a learning tool?

I was very skeptical about how useful these devices could be in the classroom but am now totally convinced of their value. I do believe their success is made through the environment we have with the 11 desktops and our class wiki as we are not having to rely on kids waiting long lengths of time to access the pics they send and we are also not relying on printing as we can publish on the wiki.

 

In summary, though much work is involved I truly believe that iPod touches are a great device and valuable for any classroom.  This reflective process has been great for me, especially seeing what the students had to say.

 

Comments

  • Jo Wilson

    Hi Tracey

    Enjoyed reading this reflection - it provided a valuable insight into the practicalities of implementing/ integrating iPod touches into the learning programme. Look forward to seeing this in action when I next visit