January 13, 2011

100 Percent iPad use in the classroom

100 percent iPad use in the classroom

So with only 12 students in the SpEd classroom, reaching 100% usage in the classroom isn't hard. Getting it around the room is simple but the goal is to make the usage effective.

Thinking of ways to better implement the iPad in class, I almost hit a wall. The apps are wonderfuL but I'm limited by the schools network. On our wireless networks, we currently cannot access YouTube videos. This renders one of the coolest functions on the ilivemathAfrica app I have found useless. In addition to having students quiz and practice, the YouTube links are for lessons explaining procedures and steps for completing problems students get stuck on.

But born of the frustration from that limited access came a new idea and a new use for the iPad. Why rely on YouTube for video content teaching my students? I can create my own videos and keep things consistent for my students in terms of style, delivery and content.

Say for example that student Jimmy missed Monday's lesson. When he comes in on Tuesday, i would normally have him sit and watch the BrainPop or some Internet resource while I deliver the mini lesson to the other students. While those students are then doing their independent work, I would sit with Jimmy and then work with him one on one to catch him up. Now, I can provide Jimmy with my iPad, and he can hear my voice, see our characters, continue with our textbook creation, and remain in line with all the work that we've been doing in class. By maintaining that consistency, it allows the students to easily reintegrate with the class and catch up so that they may participate as we continue the unit.

For future use, it sets up an easier load for me in coming years and allows me to be a more effective teacher. Next year, when teaching the same content, I will no longer need to be at the board delivering instruction. I can simply play the video and let the video deliver the mini-lesson. While they video is delivering the mini lesson, I will have more freedom to roam the room and work individually with students. It will provide me wit more insight as to who's getting it immediately, and who isn't understanding, which part snags them up, and which parts need further clarification. It allows me to get deeper into understanding our students learning and receptiveness

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