Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost ready...

Next week we will start using the iPads in our second grade literacy centers. We have been working on some student pre-surveys to learn a bit about their current confidence level with technology and their level of awareness of different types of technology-based learning tasks. Because the students are so young, this process has been a bit of a challenge! My general impression so far is that kids have some awareness of using technology to play games and perhaps to find some information, and I can't wait to see how their knowledge and confidence grow over the course of the year.

There has been a good deal of behind the scenes activity since school began September 7. Finding affordable protective cases was a mundane but necessary step. After much consideration, we ended up with the delightfully named Minisuit by Vizu, which we selected for its affordable price, ease of application, and variety of color options (and perhaps partially for its fabulous name). We want kids to be able to readily identify which set of iPads belongs in their classroom, and color coding seemed like a pretty good way to do this. Sadly, the screen protectors that come with the Minisuit aren't going to cut it, and the Minisuits themselves really seem to attract classroom dust and grit -- but for the price, I still think it was a reasonable choice.

We are also working on finalizing the apps and content that will be on the iPads for their initial use. While introducing the iPads, we plan to have students using teacher-created vodcasts to practice their reading sight words and also using the Blue Fire app to record themselves reading and practice fluency.

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