Tuesday, March 09, 2010

iPod Touch as Personal Teachers

The teacher next to me, Eddie Turner, is another GCoS teacher.  He got the idea of getting a grant to buy a set of iPod Touch for his students to use in their classes.  He's been working a lot these last couple of years in making short, 2 minute explanations of 'how to use Ohm's law' or 'How to use an electrophorous'.  Yea, he's a physics teacher.  So he puts these vodcasts into iTunes, synch's it with the iPods and then he's ready!

When it's time to introduce the activity he will show the video on the data projector.  After that, if a student needs help help with how to do something they, out of habit ask him how to do it.  We'll, he'll answer by handing them an iPod Touch with the day's video.

He has been doing this for a couple of weeks now.  For the first few days he would ask students, 'How many times did you watch the video?'  There was a range of 2 - 6 times!  The mode was 3 times.  These have been especially helpful in his ELL classes.

Yesterday a student was a bit put out with his answer to their request for help, 'Here, grab an iPod'.  They asked why don't you just tell me?  His answer is that it frees him up to address the kinds of needs that only a teacher can answer and the video will be sufficient.  He didn't mention the other goal but we teachers are often aiming for our students to become more independent, more self-reliant.

Reluctantly, the student takes the iPod and starts on the activity.  Eddie, knowing his stuff and liking to play a bit, went over to the student a few times in the period and asked the student, 'are you done yet'?  I can take this back if you don't need it any more."  The student apparently needed it throughout most of the class!

Today, he was in the middle of explaining about the activity for the day and a student raised his hand.  "Mr. Turner, don't you have a video about how to do this so we can just get started?"

Kids.  They get it.

1 comment:

  1. iPod-Touch Links the Student to Their questions.

    She had been "absent" several of the recent days. Rather than give her the quiz that she would not understand, I passed her the iPod-Touch and directed her to watch 3 movies demonstrating how to do the circuit analysis problems. When others were done with the quiz, I asked her if the movies helped her to understand. She responded, "I don't get how you ...." (Alittle disappointed that the Virtual Me did not succeed), I told her to draw a series circuit on her whiteboard table top and I would explain (in person). 10 minutes later when I finally returned to her she had erased the series circuit and had drawn a parallel circuit. Asking where the other circuit was, she responded, "Oh, I get that." and went back to discussing the new circuit with others gathering around the new schematic.
    The iPod-Touch movie efficiently connected the student with concepts that were unclear. From this the student was able to ask her questions. In addition to introducing or teaching lessons, the iPod-Touch serves as a Virtual Teacher for "absent" students or those that wish/need to review more often. These are differentiated opportunities for students (so important for 21st students). What I found interesting about this student interaction is that the student was quickly linked with HER questions.