Using handheld devices in your classroom…

This blog is a tool for Prep-2 teachers who are thinking of integrating hand held devices into their classrooms. There are several keys areas I have covered, they span from how to get started at a basic level (using iTunes, setting up ipods/ipads) to lesson plans, app reviews and how I use them in my classroom. If you have any ideas, requests or suggestions please comment below.

My primary reason for creating this blog (apart from providing something useful for other teachers and parents) is as part of the ‘Serious Play’ research project into gaming run by Deakin University, DEECD, Queensland University of Technology, National Institute of Education Singapore and Griffith University. I also think there is a huge need for apps that have been given a trial run and rated for teachers by teachers. I want to save you the time of trawling through the exhausting array of applications only to download them and find they are completely useless.

I have found it incredibly frustrating filtering through the level of rubbish that is available in the form of educational applications. I am sure anyone who has tried running a program using iPods or iPads in a classroom setting is well aware of the sheer number of apps that:

-Come for ‘free’ only to discover that after downloading each individual level/ letter/component of the app needs to be purchased at an additional charge making a fully functional application far more expensive then originally thought.

-Trick students into making ‘in-app’ purchases’ using virtual money and real money side by side tripping up young audiences.These are apps that are designed to make money and often do not to serve any educational purpose.

-The lack of Australian accents used to voice over phonics, reading and story applications.

and/or

-Have a title that totally misrepresents what the app is actually about.

Whilst a lot of the applications I have put on this blog will need components unlocked or purchased, at least this way you can see what you are buying and its benefit without having to purchase/download/sync etc.

I will also try to put in any lesson ideas that I have used in conjunction with certain apps as integrating applications successfully is sometimes the hardest part.

Any feedback would be very much appreciated and I would really like this to be a valuable resource for anyone who reads it, so if you have a suggestion, idea or great app, post it!

Bec

One thought on “Using handheld devices in your classroom…

  1. The critical edge here is really important and I love the way that you have thought about the apps which are full purchases, and those which are money makers. Also, providing ways in which the app can be used is really important, as there is often an idea that the app itself will do the work- or even be teacherproof- I like the way that you are challenging this.

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