Fort Herriman Middle School


Questions about the iPod Touch
October 23, 2008, 10:22 pm
Filed under: guided reading, ipods, technology

In the last post, Lynda asked a bunch of questions about the iPods. I want to answer them here, because it will help me reflect more.

1) How many students are sharing these 3 iPods?
The students are arranged into guided reading groups of 5 or 6. They rotate to different stations around the room, and they use the iPods and share them during that station. So, two people share an iPod.

2) What apps are loaded on the ipods?
eReader – an e-book reader app.
Stanza – another e-book reader app.
Wurdle – A Yatzhee-type of word game.
Word Whirl – You get seven letters and you have to make words that are from 3 to 7 letter long.
World Wiki – A wiki for every country in the world.
American Heritage Desk Dictionary – Apparently a pretty popular dictionary. Who knew?
Declaration and Constitution – Some historical documents that most people feel are pretty important.
iFlipr Lite – Flashcard app.
Flashcards – A good flashcard app that allows you to add pictures and photos to the flashcards. Very much worth the $2.99
Kid Book Envi – This is a cool app that allows you to read kids’ books. Very cool.
There are a lot of great apps and I will probably buy more, because there are so many neat things.

3) How long is an ipod “session”?
They get 10 minutes at each station, so 10 minutes on the iPods.

4) How do you decide who uses the ipod? Is there a schedule? Is it time-based, or project-based?
That is, does a slower student get more time than a quicker student?
This is a good question, and I think that the students feel the best about the situation when they all get equal time on the iPods. One of the apps on there is a book reading app, and I may use that more in the future with the guided reading.

5) Is time on the ipod used as a perk or reward?
This is a touchy area of using technology. Technology is a privilege, not a right. I really want to use technology, and it is easier and more enjoyable for me, and so I try to not take it away. Well, these guided reading groups are not really easier, but they are worth it. I have had to take away the reading groups from one class, and I made that the punishment, not taking away the iPods.

6) What is the ideal ratio of students per iPod?
Ideally, I would want to have 1 student per iPod, but I don’t think that is the best way to do it. I think having 2 kids on each iPod is good because they keep each other on task.

7) Does the student do work on the iPod? On a computer? On paper?
They do work on all three. Most of the work on the iPods have been watching instructional videos, where I am teaching something that I recorded previously and loaded onto the iPod.

8) Do you download podcasts from the iTunes store?
I have downloaded a movies from iTunesU that relate to the book that we are reading, Freak the Mighty. There are a lot of useful things from the iTunesU K-12 section that I will use, I am sure.

9) Are the students creating their own podcasts? If so, are they audio only? Video?
They eventually will create some sort of podcast, but that probably won’t be done on the iPods unless I can get some microphones that work.

I hope these answers are satisfactory for you. If anybody has any ideas, feel free to let me know.

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