Thursday, May 10, 2012

iPads in Action: Acquiring Knowledge

A short while ago my students learned about two spelling/word study apps and how to use them on the iPad and iPod Touch. As I was circulating the room observing and speaking with my students, one pair got my attention.

It wasn't their use of the technology that I gravitated towards - it was the support that one student was offering the other. As I was listening to them interact I managed to get the digital camera with the hope that I would catch some of what was happening on video. This is what I captured:

The one student reads the directions to the other, she tells him it's "ok", she reads him the options, she supports him, she also lets him use the iPad without simply doing it for him. The supportive and accommodating student bridges a gap for the other. If he were on his own he would have given up quite quickly and would have most likely challenged/disrupted this experience for the others in the room. What's worse is that he would have possibly connected the technology to his bad experience - leaving a bad taste in his mouth making him less likely to be excited to use the devices again. Obviously, that is not what I want - I want the touch technology integration to be a positive experience for all my students, particularly my students who often struggle. It was good for me to see a supportive student and a struggling student in order to acquire knowledge to inform my practice and our TLLP project.

My students and I are learning about the touch devices in action. They are learning how to use them to improve their achievement and I am learning how to integrate them into our school. We want to become "experts" in using these 'tools' so that we can improve our achievement and prepare to model the use of the devices with our autistic students who will start their journey using these devices in my classroom environment, with my awesome students.

Feel free to jump in and assist me in this process by providing me with your questions/comments!

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