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Friday, February 17, 2012

Judson ISD Classroom Excels with iPads and iPods

Ms. Kellogg's Crestview Elementary Students working

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time visiting with Judson ISD's elementary iPod and iPad pilot at Crestview Elementary School.  One might think that managing the mix of iPods and iPads (plus computers) in a classroom might be overwhelming and end up being counterproductive.  But from what I observed in the classroom, students were engaged and focused on their individual learning, as the teacher monitored and coached the students.  Their teacher, Ms. Kellogg, writes:  

The integration of iPads and iPod Touches into my first grade classroom has given me the opportunity to provide individualized instruction for the students that is both multi-leveled and multi-sensory. I utilize various iPod and iPad apps to differentiate for each student’s unique learning needs. I have been able to more tightly align my instruction with innovative, meaningful, and engaging lessons and activities.  My students get continual feedback on their progress as they work on the iPads and iPods. I am able to retrieve and analyze real-time data on my students, then adjust their level of instruction as needed. One of the biggest rewards that has resulted from this pilot program is that all of my students are able to experience success, no matter their strengths or weaknesses.

 This classroom works so well because of a teacher who was willing to fundamentally change how her classroom works and to investigate, learn, and experiment on a daily basis to keep improving the implementation and the students' learning.  She admits to spending many evenings researching and preparing for the next day.   To make this work on a larger scale, many teachers would need to have sustained and ongoing professional development and support to succeed.   I look forward to seeing the progress this class makes this year and to see if the success can be broadened beyond this one classroom.   

Some photos from my visit are available in my photo gallery.