Thursday, March 24, 2011

Balancing Technological and Traditional Methods in the Classroom

I had the pleasure of visiting one of our Elementary Schools as a guest reader for a grade 2 class.  I wouldn't want to miss out on a chance to get involved with some of the great activities going on in our schools.  My 3 kids are all in the age range of grade 2 students so it wasn't hard to locate a book that should be engaging.  After a quick poll of the kids I had my books selected "How I Became a Pirate".  I decided to go with the pirate theme so I brought a Jolly Roger flag and some other props.

For those of you who are familiar with the book it it lends it's self to some fun and exciting audience participation with some good old fashioned pirate speak!

I felt compelled to introduce some technology into the field trip so I decided to incorporate the ipad into the second part of my hour with the kids.  I took out my iPad which is in a case that looks more like an organizer than anything.  Immediately the group was inquiring whether the organizer was in fact an iPad.  They know.

I used the free Toy Story app which is really quite impressive.  The app reads the story using music and the characters real voices.  As the story is read the words are highlighted.

The students were captivated with a story they have seen on TV a number of times.  Was it the device that was making the difference?

The novelty will diminish as time goes on but we did make a great find.  One of the neat features of the app is it allows the student to read the story and the ipad will record the student's voice.  Every student in the class wanted to participate so they could see the animation, hear the music and most importantly hear there voice.

iPad have many uses in the classroom and this is just one of them.  This could be used as a fantastic station however the price tag can be a slight deterrent.  The classroom teacher decided to use a tape recorder and stories in the classroom as a replacement for the iPad which worked like a charm.

Leverage the technology to build the skills.  Do we need iPods, iPads, and other technology to get students to read?  Some studies say this is how we will be able to get boys to read.  I think the answer is in the middle.  Balance is what we need.  Technology will be quite effective as long as it is applied to meet specific learning goals in conjunction with traditional methods.  For more information on the application of learning goals and the use of ipods visit Kelly Powers Blog.

2 comments:

Anil Kumar Pal said...

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Anil Kumar Pal said...

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