Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thank goodness for the video camera on the iphone!

Having the phone in the back pocket has been incredibly handy on more than one occasion today. Would you believe it Nan and Aunty were in charge of one family of three today and boy number 2 scores his first goal of the session. Mum and Dad weren't there but we have the evidence! Am sure his arms were in the air for more than a minute in shear glory he had scored. Captured first hand on the iphone!
I set the 5 year old up on the mac to write his own book. Dragged a few movies and pictures of him into keynote and away he went. He was hooked for the next hour sounding out words and writing his own story and stopping to read it to anyone interested in listening.
Had a blast tonight when all 6 cousins came together at Nans for dinner. The music was turned up after dinner for all to reveal their best moves! Must admit we have some real groovers amongst us. Out came the iphone to capture the moment. The interesting thing was when I showed the 3 year old just how groovy she was she was mesmerized watching herself as the movie was played back. I wonder what she was really thinking?
Loving trying out how different technologies might be used on my nieces and nephews. One thing I am learning is it's in them, intuitive and you don't need to show them much before they start teaching you!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Personalising Learning - Selecting Aps

What fun I have had recently selecting the most appropriate aps for each of my nieces and nephews. The ease in which an application can be searched for, downloaded and instantly tried out to see if it is pitched at the right level is instantaneous. I am intrigued by what hooks each individual. The aps that give immediate gratification as to whether the individual has been successful or not seem to be a hit and played over and over again. A priceless moment was when my 3 year old niece whilst playing a counting game on my iphone beams ear to ear and looks up for a brief moment and says 'See Aunty it claps me'. On reflection it was so obvious she was hooked by the frequent feedback and gratification of achieving success, when she wasn't successful she tried again. The engagement levels I continue to observe are intense and sustained over long periods of time. The learning that is taking place is significant. Why is it significant I keep asking myself, I am coming to realise that the i pod touch/iphone uses all sensory modes at once, kinesthetic, auditory and visual, which we know is more likely to lead to long term memory. Loving this informal research!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ipod Touch- Engagement Continues

You may recall that I got an ipod touch for my nephews to share as payment for building my deck! but more importantly as an experiment for myself to see what types of activities would sustain their engagement and if the time they spent on it was of educational benefit. I managed to pop round this week at story time. As I entered the 5 year old was keen to show me a lego city movie he had just about recited. This is relevant at the moment as the house hold challenge is to build a city out of all the lego they have. The movie adds to their creative imaginations as to what is possible. It was then story time, as I read to the 5 year old the 7 year old timed how long it took me to read the story and had great joy in reading the number decimals in all. After the story the 7 year old then proceeded to tell me that his school reader the night before was about Mr Windsor. He said it wasn't that interesting, he continued to share how he went onto you tube and looked up Windsor, this is when it started to get interesting. He told me all about how to tie a windsor knot (tie) and that he had toured the Windsor castle and explained what he saw. Dull book turned interesting as the learning then was unlocked.
I asked the 7 year old how the sharing was going as one of the rules was that if there are problems with sharing I might have to have it back. With a big grin on his face he replied none. His Dad backed that up and said I haven't taught the boys anything. I can't believe what's starting to happen.
In summary the engagement increases - no interest is lost at this point. Will keep you posted.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mobile Technology

I have returned from a fun afternoon setting my two nephews (one 5 and the other 7) up with their first ipod. After downloading itunes and setting up an account we were away searching for free aps. After several minutes there were at least ten aps that the boys took to without any tuition. I watched with interest for the next hour or so as they took turns to explore the chosen educational and recreational aps.
As they had e books read to them and touched individual words for the word to be repeated, I witnessed just how powerful this tool could be for learning both inside and outside the classroom.
I will continue to watch with interest over the next few weeks to see if this engagement sustains. How long will their interest in certain aps last? When will they be hungry for more or different? Will it develop interests otherwise not discovered?

A considerable amount of money can be spent on having the desired e learning tools, what amazes me that we continue to spend without researching the tools impact on student outcomes. There is a need to research and gather evidence to measure the impact such tools have on student learning. Interested to capture some during this wee trial with my nephews. What this space!