Through the Eyes of a Child in the 21st Century
Written by: Julie Johnson
, 3rd Grade Teacher
How do we reach them? How do we engage them? How do we ensure that they will remember most of what we teach them?
The students that walk into our classrooms each September are evolving year after year into young men and women who have more life experiences, more insight to popular culture, and more advantages than we ever did as children. Yet, they seem to be lacking in communication skills, independence in conflict resolution, and guidance on how to be a curious learner. Within the last year when I was given the opportunity to use the latest technology in my classroom as an educational tool, it changed my teaching viewpoint from “me to them” to “them to each other”. I quickly found that students, when given choice and opportunity can be responsible for their own creative academic outcomes and curious learners have emerged within the classroom.
Below is an outline of my research journey that has changed both students and teacher and how they learn.
What happens when students use digital kits with iPod touches?
- How does it engage TAG/Average ability students differently?
- How do the students view using the iPod? Tool for Learning? “Cool” factor?Another resource for unanswered question?
- Should I concentrate on a few students or the whole class for the best results?
- I decided to choose a few students from my reading group at different academic levels for my research. The class will be my control group.
Download my presentation here:
What I know:
Through my research I have discovered that the iPod touch devices may have had a “cool’ factor at first, but now it is primarily used as a tool to find unanswered questions in all curricular areas. The accessibility of it right at their fingertips gives students the opportunity to quickly be independent learners. These devices become an extension of learning in their hands just when they need it.
- Fairy Tales
- Primary Source Documents
- Historical Fiction
- Health and Nutrition
- Life Science
- Earth Science
How I know:
A recent survey that asked students what their favorite resource was when they had a question showed that 19 out of 29 students preferred the device over a book from the library. Most noted that facts were easier to find, apps were easier to use for written errors, and pictures were more accessible when they needed to see what they were looking for.
Student quotes from survey:
“The touch is like a little computer and it gives you so much information on everything.”
“You could find the right answer, a lot of facts, and it always has the answer you are looking for.”
“It helped me because there are many different apps and it tells me what I need to know.”
Scores reflect difference from a pretest to a post test:
- Fairy Tale Unit....Scores went from an average of 33% to 88%
- Historical Fiction......36% to 93%
- Multiplication.....53% to 90%
- Since every student learns differently, I would like to individualize each touch to better reach their independent needs.
- Auditory learners......audiobooks, apps with soft music for working
- Visual learners.......video podcasts, graphic apps
- Advanced learners.......apps that are above grade level
- Special Ed......apps at their level, audiobooks, video podcasts
- ELL......Spanish audiobooks, video podcasts, non-language apps
- ADHD......apps with soft music for working, video podcasts
- Continue to create a bank of digital kits using the new content standards
- Searching for Spanish language apps and quality audiobooks
- Creating a tech support group within the district
- Maintaining a reflective blog of my experiences: http://blogs.canby.k12.or.us/leeipod