Bridget's Page

iPods for iKids

Here are a few fun ideas of how to use iPods and Podcasting in the classroom. I am excited to use video-podcasts to do book reviews. Thanks for a great class. I have lots of ideas to take back to school! Have a great and relaxing summer! Bridget

After learning more about the iPod, I wanted to know how other folks were using this technology in the classroom. I found that music classes were some of the first to welcome the technology. Others found a great connection with iPods and learning foreign languages. Students were able to download podcasts and use the lessons more and on their own time. The learners were more motivated and eager to study because they could use the new technology. Many secondary educators are using podcasts to send out homework helpers that students can download to their iPods. Students can download a lesson they missed or get a review if they are having trouble by simply subscribing to the podcast or videocast with their iPod. Still, all of this is new for schools. They are learning what works and what doesn’t in the school setting.

As a grade 1 and 2 looping teacher, I could think of many ways to use iPods and podcasting in the classroom and as a home connection. Every student in my class either has an iPod or has access to an iPod. This is very exciting, because purchasing the technology would have been a big expense! So I brainstormed with friends, read a little on the web and asked my own kids about ideas.
Listening to and learning about Red Clover books in a wonderful part of our year! Children can vote for the book they like best. It is so hard for 6 year olds to remember the books throughout the school year. I always wonder if the book they vote for was the only one they could remember. Downloading the Red Clover books onto iPods would be a great way for learners to listen to the stories at home. They could share them with their families and create a discussion around the stories. It might also change the way the students vote for their favorite Red Clover book.

This year I have a bouncy class that consisted of 12 boys and 6 girls. You can image how tough it is to get everyone settled for quiet time. Allowing students to listen to music or stories on their iPods might let this happen a little easier. Students could find a quiet corner around the room and listen to a podcast or music. This quiet time helps them to calm their bodies. Then when quiet time is over, students are relaxed and ready to learn.

This year I have an ELL student who speaks Russian. I could record stories that we read in class and create a podcast of them. She could download the stories to her iPod and listen to them again at home with her family. She would then be able to share and discuss the stories with her mother who speaks some English. She would be able to ask questions about the story in her first language. This would help her to gain a better understanding of the meaning of the story, plus she could listen to it as many times as she wanted to.
Book reviews are always fun for kids to do. The children could read and create their own review about a favorite book and create a podcast about it. They could download the reviews they want hear on their IPods before a Library day. Then they could listen to the reviews and use those to help them select a book. This could be really helpful for students who have trouble picking a book from ALL the choices the library has. The large amount of books in the library can be very overwhelming for some. Listening to the book reviews ahead of time will help to give some students a place to start looking. This could make selecting a book more enjoyable for some learners. Taking a suggestion from a peer about a good book might also inspire some students to try genres that are new to them.

Please add any ideas that you have too!

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