Showing posts from April, 2010

Experiment Spring 2010: iPod Touches Week 1

Today it was time to pull the iPod Touches out of the first classroom, and move it onto the next.  I could not believe the long faces when I began rolling the cart out of the room it had been housed in the first week!  I really think at least a few of the students started crying.  Talk about going from being the most popular person to being the least popular in a single minute...  Several students kept asking when I was bringing the cart back.  Sadly, I had to share with them that other students would be using them until the end of the school year, and the cart would not be back in their room this year.

I moved the cart down the hall to it's second home.  It was an instant change in feel, from utter sadness to over-the-top excitement.  This classroom was a kindergarten class, and I was very interested to see how the process of getting the iPods in and out of the cart would go.  There is a definite growth in fine motor skills over these ages!

We began to pass out the iPod Touches t…

Experiment Spring 2010: iPod Touches Day 2

Day 2 of the iPod Touch Experiment: I get a call from the teacher piloting the iPod Touches in her classroom just after noon.  I somewhat dread picking up the phone as I wonder what has gone wrong.  I purposely was not in that building the second day to make sure I didn't develop a possible dependency to my being there whenever the iPod Touches were used. 

As I answer the phone, I get this bubbly, "Can we keep these for the rest of the year?  I don't think my students will give them up."  We chat about how well it is going (remarkably well, I'm told).  We discuss the log I gave her to to fill out as a documentation for me in how they are being used (what subject?, whole class or small group?, how long?, etc).  Then I ask the question that I had been holding off on, as I was worried about the answer: "So, how have you used them in your room?"

My fear is that these will become a reward for advanced students, or a threat to hold over the head of students …

Experiment for Spring 2010: iPod Touches in Grades PreK-1

The day has finally arrived!  This morning I got to introduce our first class to pilot having iPod Touches in their classroom.  This experiment went from concept to actual in just a couple months, which is absolutely amazing.

A little history of our project~
Back in January my technology director called me in and asked what I thought our teachers and students would "do" with iPod Touches in their rooms in place of our old eMacs.  We ran through the pros & cons of making the change instead of putting laptops or new desktops in to replace the old.  The pros that swayed us to try it were the fact that teachers would gain more room in their classes (sadly, we like many others have had class sizes grow as the economy tanks), the portability of the Touches, and the cost of software ($1.99 for an app that goes on all 32 Touches sure beats paying several hundred for an application per desktop).

Our Touches arrived in March, and while the technology director worked on all the har…

Coin Math- App Review for IEAR

Grade Level: Elementary (including Pre-K)

Purpose: A

Program Functionality: C

Overall Educational Value: B+

Cost: $1.99

Overview:  Coin Math bills itself as an app to learn about dealing with coins.  There are 5 different activity types available within the app:
1. Learning what the coins look like.  Each coin has a section where the picture, name and value of the coin are shown; additionally, a short paragraph about the coin's history and/or design.
2. Match the coins. A drag and drop activity to match coins to piggy bank amounts.
3. Count coins. A coin counting activity, where coins are displayed and you select the correct amount from four choices.  The user can manually drag the coins around the screen if wanted. There is a basic and advanced level.
4. Shopping.  A price matching activity. The use drags the correct change to the "counter" for a listed item displayed with price and clicks a button to pay the cashier.  There is a basic and advanced level.
5. Make Change. A …