My school recently received 10 iPod Touch mobile devices and it was a bit unexpected (came free with MacBooks). Obviously, we were not going to waste this opportunity so, I began researching their use in Primary classrooms. I found that we were most definitely not the first school to start using them. In fact, there had been schools in our state and overseas using them (or at least earlier iPod’s) for more than 3 years and probably longer.
As is the nature of innovative educators, the people who have used them are keen to share their experience and learning. There are many excellent practical resources available. Names such as Tony Vincent, Louise Duncan and Jenny Ashby are common in this field .
Many of them are summarised and linked on Slide2Learn – http://slidetolearn.ning.com/ .
This Ning is publicising a conference that is currently taking place in rural Victorian town of Shepparton. Another opportunity for learning face to face, that I cannot accept, however I am taking in as much as possible from home (nursing a daughter after dental surgery). The Ning will be broadcasting online sessions and hosting forums and chat on relevant issues (as it has for many months. Twitter is once again at work (see my previous post) #slide2learn.
My main concern with introducing these tools into the school was that we were adopting the right pedagogy, not just giving the students a toy or gimmick. I am already inspired by these small devices potential. I saw Louise Duncan’s presentation “The power of mobile technology in learning” at the DEECD Innovation Showcase and she highlighted the potential and provided many practical examples of their use.
Our current situation at school is the dealing with the practical issues of managing – synching, downloading, securing and charging multiple devices. Tony Vincent’s Learning in Hand website and podcasts provide great practical advice on managing multiple machines. We are in the very early days of adopting them. To date, I have not spent any money on apps, using only free versions, but I will definitely be purchasing some of the more vital tools. The drawback of the free versions is that they often come associated with advertising or are limited editions (designed to make you buy the full edition). Having said that, one free App that is a highlight so far is StoryKit – so simple to use (a storywriting tool – record sound, add text, add photos, add images etc)
Over the next few days, I hope to get many more ideas about how these tools can improve our teaching and learning ! Following and thankful to all those tweeting #slide2learn