Got technology-resistant colleagues at your school/learning centre? My iPod Touch is one of my greatest assets in my classroom. The device is highly intuitive and excellent for classroom use. This post is not for the tech-savvy. Rather, let me share with you 8 simple, straightforward, and effective ways I have used my device in my day to day routine at the primary level:
I use the Voice Memo app to record my grade 2 and 3 students reading their journals out loud. I can then e-mail or podcast their readings home to their parents. I can use voice recordings as part of a growth portfolio and as a concrete oral skills/reading skills assessment tool. Additionally, the class practises listening and quietness skills as their classmate goes “on air” in the “studio”. It’s a big deal!
I can take attendance, send the principal a note, or check parent communication from my device in any situation, especially helpful if I cannot leave a group of students.
An MP3 player is a fantastic asset in any classroom whether primary or university-level, and can be taken to gym or elsewhere. People love to move to music.
4. Timers and Countdowns
The Clock comes with a countdown and a stopwatch which are great for rehearsing tasks and timing activities.
5. Going Paperless
As schools make the transition from paper to pixel, I have been mulling over how to reduce my own use of paper. I also enjoy refining lesson plans in alternate settings to my classroom. I type out my plans and send them to Dropbox so I don’t lose them if my hard copy goes missing. I can also lesson plan on the fly.
6. Planning and Follow-Through
Dictation, Reminder, and ScatterBrain save me every day from forgetfulness. I find making lists or typing out thoughts and ideas helps me keep tabs on the many things that happen each day. I schedule events with Google Calendar and receive reminder alerts.
7. Education Apps
There are a great deal of helpful education applications. Ask around. The large education professional community on Twitter will be happy to point any seekers in the right direction. Try: #edchat #sschat
8. The Cool Factor
Technology possesses the “wow” factor. Using Google Maps live on a device to show children an aerial view of the school while creating a treasure hunt was fascinating to them.
There are thousands of ways to use apps in education. I have not even scratched the surface of the potential uses for devices and apps in the classroom, but one thing is for sure: they have become a staple in my day to day educational practice and offer me immediate assistance at my fingertips. How do you use them?