Thursday, March 3, 2011

Power Tools

Whenever you do something in the classroom your intention is that your students will apply it to their lives.  One of the many reasons why I prefer to use technology with my students is for this reason ~ transferability.  We have been using a variety of technological tools in the classroom: netbook, iPod Touch, and NOOKs.  Each are used every day in a variety of ways.  Since using the iPod Touch in the classroom the children have been using a variety of apps.  Sometimes they use them for assigned tasks, while other times they use them as a choice to complete a task or when completing a task. 

There are a couple of students who bring their Touch in to school.  Since using them in the classroom, they wanted to bring their device in.  And not to play the games or watch the movies they have on them.  They bring them in so they can download the apps that we are using in the classroom.  They want to put Easy Chart on their iPod.  They want to put Apples in Hour Hands on their Touch.  This is what I hear everyday, "What's the name of that app we were just using?"  Once I tell them it is quickly followed by, "Can I take a minute to download it?" 

I was walking around the classroom as the children come in off of the bus this morning.  I see a small group huddled by one of the tables.  Excitedly chattering.  I walk over to see what its all about.  Do you know what I saw?  I saw children hovering over iPods.  They look up as they see me near and say, "Mrs. Mercier, we're downloading the NOOK app and some free book apps onto our iPods!" 

How great is this?  Children, as young as eight and nine, are seeing the value of technology. They understand how powerful of a tool it is to help them learn.  (Stay tuned to see what they have to say about Twitter...for which they have plenty!)  We really do need to get mobile devices into their hands to have at home and school.  We need to provide it to them as young as possible.  This is when we will see just how powerful these tools are.