Sunday, August 3, 2014

iPads for Intervention

     As I have already mentioned in my blog, my grade-level team was granted iPads for this coming school year. Our challenge is to use it to enhance both teaching and learning. This challenge has been ever-present in my mind this summer. Now that the new school year looms closer than ever, it´s time to make our team´s ideas more concrete. My team and I are focusing on literacy with iPads, but this does not mean we won´t use our iPads in other ways (we´d be silly not to, right?). I think I briefly mentioned the idea of using iPads as a means of intervention, but this was a passing thought (and, I think, a good one!). It was a thought that lacked flesh on its bones. I recently watched a TED Talk about MOOCS and the need to change the way we teach. As I watched this TED Talk I felt guilty (why? I´m not really sure...perhaps I internalized our inability to change in this informational age and took it as a personal failure). It brought the challenge of the iPads in our classroom back to the front of the mind. Not only that, it made the challenge even more pressing and urgent. I teach very young children so it is still critical that my students do many things traditionally like read with real books and write using paper and pencil. However, this doesn´t mean that everything has to be kept traditional. I then went back to my idea about intervention. It was time to really think about this idea in more detail. My school already has its teachers spending some of their school time providing intervention. What if we use iPads to help deliver the intervention? Let´s say math, for example. Students who need a reteaching lesson could be grouped together to watch a reteaching lesson on the iPad and then do some follow up work. This could be done while other students (students who are moving through the lesson smoothly) are working on something else. Obviously this speaks to the idea that the same can be done for enrichment, but I´m trying to fine-tune this one idea, so I won´t touch enrichment quite yet. A teacher could pre-record a reteaching lesson (there are several apps available for making videos) to be watched by the intervention group. That same video could be used for students across the grade-level (not just in the one class) meaning more students could potentionally be reached. At my school teachers actually intervene with another teacher´s class, so if I created a video the teacher who works with my intervention group could be in charge of presenting the video and running the follow-up activity. The lesson could be stored to use for future use and future classes. Those who are lucky to have TAs, TAs could also be the ones in charge of the video. These are my thoughts for now, but I am sharing them (even if they aren´t fully fleshed out quite yet) with you in case you find yourself with a similar challenge.

Do you use iPads for intervention in your own classroom? I would love to hear what you all do and what you suggest.

2 comments:

  1. Tami, what a great surprise to find your blog on this lazy Sunday afternoon...and I just planned on spending 2 minutes on the computer!! First,your blog looks great...did you change it this past week? I love the idea of lessons being stored. I thought of Lesson Study in that other classrooms and kids could benefit from one video. How I wish teachers planned together and created GREAT, Knock Your Socks Off Lessons, that they then all delivered in their own classrooms, to then debrief, to share strengths, weaknesses, and next steps. Good writing, my techie friend.

    p.s. RE: Lesson Study--I was thinking about this with character ed last night :)

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    1. Wow, what a small world (physically and virtually it turns out!). I did indeed make some changes on the blog (there was a cute but annoying branch that got in the way of the text). I am really excited to try out the iPads for intervention. I feel I have so many ideas swarming around in my head. I hope I can keep them all straight!

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