Lessons Learned- Ipod Touches K-5

Here are some tips that we'll be utilizing next year with our iPod Touch/iPod initiative:

  • Get the teacher commitment to consistent device use. It should be looked at as a regular learning tool- not a reward or extra.

  • Encourage teachers to use the devices as a reading center- headphone splitters can allow more than one student on a device at a time.

  • Accountability can be helpful- students can write down a summary of what they did, words learned/ skills practiced, etc.

  • Allow ELL students to choose a partner to work with if they are the primary user of the device.

  • Have students practice often with the voice memo and recording device before starting to use it for teacher data.

  • Microphone devices that connect to the charging end are most useful, as the headset can stay plugged in while the microphone is being used.

  • Be sure students who are practicing fluency have a good model to hear first before they practice their reading. We used audio books with our fifth graders. There are also so good story podcasts for children. University of South Florida's Lit2Go project has recorded nursery rhymes that would be good practice for beginning readers as well as lots of other classic children's stories. We'll be bringing our fluency practice to the lower grades with help from their work: http://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/

  • Keep the number of apps on devices to a minimum: too many choices can have students skipping from one app to another, especially with younger students.
  • Syncing can become an issue if teachers want to keep voice recordings on their computer. We will explore the iPhone configuration utility for managing devices.