Friday, November 12, 2010

Questions and Answers

As a blogger, one of the main reasons I write is to reflect on my teaching as well as share my experiences especially about technology with my peers. One of my favorite parts is when I get to read the comments.  There was a wonderful comment with lots of questions, so I am going to try and answer them in this blog.  

I am learning so much from your experiences with iPods in the classroom. My class set just arrived today and I have spent the entire evening rereading your posts and exploring possible apps. My next question is...How do you introduce a new app? Do you have a way to show the entire class how the app works? What did you do to introduce the basics of how the iPod is operated at the very beginning? Also, do your students have email accounts so they can email each other or you? Boy do I agree that the learning curve is HUGE! Thanks for teaching us through your experiences.

Question 1) How do I introduce new apps?  

Answer:  I have introduced them in groups according to subjects.  For example I share a group of word study apps then I introduced math  apps etc.  I have found if I group the apps the students typically find one they like and continue to use that one.  On a side note, I also have found that time to play with the apps is imperative because the students need time to talk and share what they like/dislike about the apps as well as time for me to move around the room to help students.

Question 2) Do I have a way to show the entire class how the app works?

Answer:  This has been a challenge, but I am very lucky that I have a portable Elmo that hooks into my computer so I can show them on my dry erase board using my iPod.  This works pretty well not always clear but the students have the same app in front of them, so they just refer to the board as a reference

Question 3) What did I do to introduce the basics of how the iPod is operated in the beginning?

Opening screen on iPod.
Answer:  Leave plenty of time the first time the iPods are passed out. I left an entire afternoon which is about 2 hours, and we used every minute. I would suggest trying to have an extra adult with you just to help troubleshoot. The first thing Mark (our TST) and I did was to teach them how to turn them on and off.  Next we showed them how we labeled them as they turned on with a number-the same number they have assigned to  them in class. Because I teach 5th grade, I knew my students had experience with the internet so 
we played with Google Earth. I only had 5 apps loaded on them the first time they got their iPods.  The students found their homes by typing in their address, and then they found somewhere they went on summer vacation.  This was really fun for the students!! We then explored the app homonyms because that was our focus in writing at that time. After that I allowed, the students to take their iPod home that night and explore everything.  The next morning's conversation were amazing!!!

Question 4)  Do the students have email and can they email to me?

Answer:  This was a huge step for me because I chose to use the app Story Kit with my class because I love how the students can create their own story; however, I had to have them be able to email me their final story.  See Hooray Email Finally Works for Story Kit!  I am very excited now that I have email I believe that will open other apps for me to explore. The best part is that the students can only email me so it is locked and safe for them.  The down side is that I can not email them back, but for right now I am happy with one way email.

I am sure there are many more questions, and I still have a million myself but that is why I love being apart of the blogging world. Thanks for asking great questions!!


  1. Your posts and comments have been so fun to read as you've expanded into new, and sometimes uncomfortable, territory. In addition to spreading your technological wings, you are also developing a real voice in your writing! I love it!

    I know I originally thought you should go another way, but you chose the perfect platform for you. :)

  2. Thanks for your kind words Karen. Our conversations have lead me down the path of where I am today. THANKS!