1:1 Mobile Device Classrooms: Are They Effective? A Teacher Knows The Answers! (PART 2)
We conclude BELOW with Part 2 of our RE@L Blog on the effectiveness of 1:1 mobile devices in the the classroom, as seen by local teacher, Kristine Wyandt. To read Part 1 of this unique perspective, click HERE.
RE@L: How did you go about evaluating and selecting the apps for the iPads? How do you integrate them into your lesson plans?
I am a “second year” Beta teacher so I went with the Apps that the first pilot group used last year. I believe the initial Apps were chosen by the Teaching and Learning Technology Steering Committee through a recommendation process by a “Tech Integration” expert. That being said, I have freedom to download Apps as I see fit and was allowed a budget to tap into as the year progresses.
RE@L: Give an example or two of effective lessons with the 1:1 program in your classroom. Why do think the learning was better with iPads? What have you learned so far that might make your lessons better next time? Is homework an issue?
The iPads are our greatest tool whenever we need to inquire further on a topic for a lesson. The students have instant access to the world’s knowledge via the internet. Other classrooms have to sign out computers and do that research when they can get access whereas we have access all the time.
Another advantage of having the iPads is that students have more flexibility on how they share their knowledge for assessment. Students can use any App they want: Explain Everything, Pic Collage, Show Me, iMovie, etc… to demonstrate their understanding of a concept which is highly engaging for them. As the teacher, I can ask them to submit their assignment through Google Classroom, which allows all the Apps permission to upload.
I haven’t done much with the “flipped Classroom”concept as I’m not sure it’s totally appropriate for 5th grade. (FOR MORE ON “FLIPPED CLASSROOMS, CLICK ON THE GRAPHIC TO THE RIGHT). However, that being said, I have assigned students some math tutorials to watch as an introduction to a new math concept and have found quite a bit of success with that.
Sharing video tutorials with students is powerful because the student can access the video as many times as they need to, as well as, parents can view them to support the work at home. I would like to incorporate more tutorials moving forward as time allows.
RE@L: Are most of your students tech-savvy with iPads? Do you find you need to give special help to some of your students? Do students help each other? Do they collaborate on their assignments?
My students are definitely tech-savvy! I have a few students in my classroom that were in a Beta classroom last year in fourth grade and their knowledge has been incredibly helpful. At the beginning of the year, I had several students step-up as “App experts” and led the class in how to use certain Apps.
Most of the Apps are intuitive to the students so even if we don’t have an expert one of the kids figures it out immediately. It amazes me everyday how easy it is for them to navigate the iPad. I’m always impressed by their patience and persistence in working until they figure it out!
RE@L: What tips would you give to other teachers who have been assigned to teach a 1:1 program? What can they do to make it work better and be more effective?
I would offer the same advice I received from a colleague:
- Have a open mindset
- Let the kids lead the way
- Demonstrate patience and persistence (“Living in Beta” is all about trouble-shooting)
- Don’t be fearful of the unknown
- Use technology when it fits the learning otherwise skip it
RE@L: How have your parents responded to your 1:1 program? Any tips for other teachers to engage the support of parents?
Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much from parents about the iPads. One parent shared that her child was doing things on her iPad that she was getting paid for at her job and found that fascinating. Others have shared that their child is reading more because they have instant access to hundreds of books….. I would agree that I see students reading more because it’s just easy to get books. [Some] Apps recommend books to kids based on their preference; which has been nice for students who struggle to find books that they like to read.
RE@L thanks 5th grade teacher, Kristine Wyandt for her many insightful comments and tips!
STAY TUNED! Gavin, a 5th grade student in Ms. Wyandt’s class,
is working on his followup video for our next RE@L Blog on his views of 1:1.
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