iPod Touch – Glencairn Primary

My Primary 6 class have been using the iPod touches to assist with their learning since January.  I have found them to be both a worthwhile and motivating resource to support learning and teaching.

Using iPod touches within the classroom has helped to promote independent and responsible learning.  The children have been given unlimited access to their own iPod touch and make decisions and choices about when to use it.  They take responsibility for the care and ownership of this and must ensure it is fully charged overnight.

In the beginning the children were introduced to the different apps available to them and they were given time to explore these before using them within lessons.  This was beneficial as it prevented valuable teaching and learning time being wasted .

The apps available on the iPod touch are very varied and have helped to develop literacy, numeracy, ICT skills and the children’s general knowledge.  I have found the maths games to be very useful and the children find them challenging and enjoyable.  Other apps which have been worthwhile are: Flags, The Human Body, Slideshow, Comic Twist, Wikipanion,  Google Earth and Safari.

With every child having their own iPod touch it has meant that internet research can be carried out at any point in the day, therefore not limited to when the class has laptop access.

I have planned lessons to incorporate the use of the iPod touches.  Google Earth has been used as a focus for maths lessons,  Safari has been used almost daily for a range of activities,  Notes has been used for writing lessons, Wikipanion for research projects and many purposes.

The children are also given the choice to use the ipod as a follow up to lessons.  They are provided with a choice of tasks and enjoy this.  They are eager to finish their other work to get onto the iPod tasks.

The children have learned to post comments onto the Glencairn iPod Blog.  Many children can access this independently to upload photos, podcasts or write text.  Parents and the wider community can access this blog to keep up to date with progress and comment.  Parents have reacted very positively to this project and the comments reflect their enthusiasm, many identifying the benefits associated with this initiative.  The children are highly motivated by the outside interest in their work and regularly check this.

To summarise, the benefits of using iPod touches have been:

  • Increased motivation
  • Apps enhance learning and teaching
  • Promotes independence and responsibility
  • Unlimited access to the internet
  • The children’s ICT skills have improved

Many opportunities for revision or consolidation, ie maths/ language games

There have been some challenges to overcome during this initiative.  Firstly, navigating around the ipod touch was difficult for some children due to poor motor skills, especially when typing.  Another problem we encountered was when sharing resources.  We had set up First Class as a way of sharing work, however this did not work well.  It would be helpful if there was a way of resolving this.

We also experienced some problems with the airport signal within our school and we were unable to use the ipod touches all at once.  This problem was resolved by updating the system.

The benefits certainly outweigh the challenges and I have found the iPod touches to be a very worthwhile resource within the classroom. So much so that the school are planning to invest in their own for all the children to use.  The primary 6 class will act as mentors for the rest of the school.

Thank you very much for the opportunity, it has been a  great experience.

Robyn Moonie