Middle School Math iPod Touch Blog

Integrating Technology into the Middle School Classroom

GAMeSlab at RU offers good videos to help teachers new to using iPods in the classroom. April 22, 2011

What I like about the teaching profession is the collaboration among teachers, because we each have our own, creative ideas. As new teachers, the lack of immediate resources is one of the greatest struggles. When teachers work together, sharing ideas and pedagogy, we all become our best and the students benefit the most.

The GAMes lab at Radford University offers some good videos showing how some teachers are using iPods and iPad in the classroom. Twitter is another resource from some excellent ideas, if you have time to sort through the ideas. Another way of sharing and obtaining resources is through blogs by other educators and technology users. The most important thing is to be creative, reflect on your students’ behaviors and engagement, and build (and keep in contact with) your own PLN and PLC. All teachers need support, but especially new teachers need to know how to survive those first, most difficult years. I hope these suggestions help, especially when you are trying to incorporate technology into your classroom!

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Flipping the Classroom March 8, 2011

After reading a blog by a middle school science teacher, Eric Biederbeck, I viewed the video he referenced on YouTube. The video is about how he and other teachers have made a positive change in the classroom by “flipping” it. The teacher decided instead of teaching, drilling and giving students meaningless homework he would flip the roles a bit. He decided to record his classroom teachings of units and load them onto Google Docs (apps) so students can view them at home to learn the skill on their own. The students are to watch the video at home each night. That way, when students arrive the following day they simply review and have much more time for hands-on, higher level learning activities. Check out the video here and see what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H4RkudFzlc.

I really like the thought of this, but unfortunately it isn’t feasible in my county where many students do not have the technology at home to support this type of instruction. I do believe in maximizing classroom instruction and see how this can be beneficial. Biederbeck states, similar to what Darlene states in her video (http://gameslab.radford.edu/iLearn/search-results.html?category=4thGrade), that students are much more relaxed and comfortable in their learning because a student can watch the video numerous times on their own without the embarrassment of having to ask a question in front of his or her peers. I will certainly reflect upon the video, and see how I can best use the iPod Touch to have students view videos of content instruction. Since I cannot use this for homework I will have to find another way to make homework meaningful. But, this seems like a wonderful strategy that can provide differentiation, individual instruction, an auditory/visual medium in which to learn, and student-led learning. Maybe I can try this as we begin to review for our county-wide summative assessment. I’ll let you know how it goes!