Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Putting My Feet in the Water

Yesterday I broke out the iPads with my 6th grade.  After 5 minutes I felt like I was a first year teacher on my first day of class in a room full of students who just came back from recess and were ready for lunch.  Yes, it was crazy!  By the time I said "navigate to my website and wait there" they were already elbow deep into Angry Birds or some other game or taking funhouse crazy mirror style photos of me without me knowing it. 

Catch my breath.  Wow, that was wild.

Eventually, we got to the task at hand (course evaluations) and they were impressed that I had imbedded it in my website (thanks Cathy and Lisa for showing me the way).

Later we moved onto Math Bingo and that was a big success.  I saw kids who normally struggle with computation absolutely nail it while playing the game.  Mostly I saw how even the kids with no iPad experience were within minutes flying around with it better than I could after months.  That type of technology really is their native place. 

After just one class I think the iPad can be used effectively for math.  It was fun, it was a break from the norm, but it also gave the chance to practice some important skills in a fun way and allow kids with different learning styles and skills to emerge from the crowd. 

And...I learned a lot about using the iPad.  I learned  that if you swipe with four fingers across the screen you can move between apps.  Didn't know that before yesterday.  Thanks, kids!

I look forward to designing some lessons which incorporate the iPad.  I can also see great applications for challenging students who might finish an assignment or a test early or for a student who might need to use their hands in order to better understand a concept. 

It was just one day and it was a little crazy, but in the end it was worth it!

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