ipod touchI didn’t think it existed, but it does, I’ve found it.

Found what? Nothing less than the secret spark, the magic dust from Hollywood movies, the miraculous way to grab the attention of all my pupils.

I know I’ve found it, because today it happened: I walked down the corridor and turned into a modern day Pied Piper, followed by a trail of enthusiastic children. I walked into my classroom and Y7 went wild with excitement.

What could possibly have caused this? Had I planned a jaw-dropping lesson filled with wonders and delights?

Er, sadly not. Actually, all I had to do to get this rather overwhelming reaction was to be seen carrying some ipod touches.

Yes, that’s it.

You were expecting something more?

I’m quite excited about the idea of using our shiny new toys in the classroom. Apparently the mere sight of them is enough to send the students a bit crazy – even if they are still in their boxes and not quite ready for use just yet.

Will the wild enthusiasm continue once we actually start using them? Let’s hope so. Better get ’em set up quickly and find out.

Photo: iPod touch 1.1.3 (main screen) by chrisdejabet. Used under Creative Commons Licence.

6 comments to Touched

  • Yorkshire Pudding

    In the last twenty years, if only 25% of the money spent on ICT in schools had been spent on books and book promotion, education and results would have advanced a lot further. Flash kit that lasts five minutes is a poor substitute for proper learning which is absolutely resistant to shortcuts and gimmicks. Sorry but I would be the crippled boy who didn’t make it to the cave entrance before it closed.

    • Lois Lindemann

      As a maths teacher, I’ve found that some of the flashy kit really enhances learning. But… it depends what the students are learning as to whether it’s helpful or not. I’ve got a reputation in my school as a heavy user of tech stuff, but actually I think that quite often low-tech or no-tech methods are best.

      When the flashy kit works, it’s brilliant: my Y6 students loved using the ipods today – and did far more practice with tables and division than we would ever have accomplished without them.

      One group decided to show me their favourite books and we did a bit of unscheduled reading, which was also good, but for entirely different reasons.

  • Z

    I find, even at my vast age, that I’ll keep practising far longer with an electronic aid than I will with a book – for example, I would never have got around to learning all the countries of Africa, Asia and Europe and their capitals (the new Eastern Europe ones are quite a challenge) without a computer programme. And in the last few days, having downloaded an anatomy app onto my phone, I’ve learned more about bodies than I ever knew before.

    On the other hand, I think that constant use of calculators in the last couple of decades has meant a lot of people have never bothered to learn basics such as multiplication. So, I think it all depends on whether flash kit is used as a learning aid (to encourage fuller comprehension of the subject too) or a shortcut. I’m sure you do the former, Lois!

  • Dean S

    The flash kit is all well and good, untill you get to a test which doesn’t allow the tech. Y11 students looking to go into A/S level maths should be warned that the entire first module is non calculator, so knowing the simple and basic stuff is a must have.

    It is also helpful in GCSE where even though you CAN use a calculator they ask for the answer in surd form and your calculator may give the answer 0.02545, which is clearly not a surd – that is a mark down the drain.

    On the other hand, the tech has saved engineering companies millions, simply because they can “build” multiple models of the same thing and test them to destruction – only to load up the file and change the placement of a few rivets and test agian.

    Overall, the tech stuff is good, but only in moderation and after you know the theory behind the subject.

  • […] 12 iPod touches for use in lessons. I’ve been getting them set up and trying them out. They have caused great excitement in my lessons – in fact, just seeing the iPods was enough to drive some of my students into a […]

  • […] purchased 12 iPod touches for use in lessons. I’ve been getting them set up and trying them out. They have caused great excitement in my lessons – in fact, just seeing the iPods was enough to drive some of my students into a […]