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Ipod touch teaching ideas

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by mercer77, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    I work with a range of special needs at age 11-16. I have just bought five ipod touches for pupils to use, principally to teach the Mobile Devices part of the WJEC Entry Pathway ICT qualification. I went on the WJEC course and they specifically mentioned that this part of the course can be taught using an ipod touch.

    Reading a few of the forum threads, I know people have different opinions about the value of such devices, and I know some people would argue for using Android devices (I have an Android phone myself and did consider it) but I'm not looking to get into a debate about that, I just thought it would be useful to have a thread to share teaching ideas on.

    For starters, here's some I'm using or will attempt in the near future:

    1. There's a brilliant app called Imotion HD which allows pupils to make stop-motion animations. Very easy to use, you could animate plasticine figures etc. It will also do time lapse photography so can be set to take a photo every few seconds up to once a day. You could use it to study plants moving towards the sun, set it up in a window to study the movement of clouds over an hour etc. The app is free, but you need to pay a small fee to upgrade and be able to export the videos.

    2. Storykit - I create quite a few social stories for autistic children. This app is a simple story maker that could be used to create instant social stories using the camera, adding text, and even little drawings drawn on the touchscreen.

    3. Imovie - This is £2.99 (but can then be put on multiple ipods). I haven't tried this yet, but I plan to get pupils to storyboard and make short films (maybe adverts), as they can video, edit and add titles and music all on the ipod, then export it to a computer to be shown to other pupils on a whiteboard.

    4. Photosynth - another free app, this allows you take a 3d surround picture of any room or environment. You have to see this in action to appreciate how it works, but it's brilliant! Could be useful to help an autistic child prepare themselves for a rather worrying new environment, for example.

    5. Virtuoso Piano - a lovely free piano using the touchscreen. Obviously much better on an ipad where the screen's much bigger, but it's good fun and very handy in music lessons for identifying notes, and getting pupils to compose simple tunes etc.

    6. Dragon Dictation - a surprisingly accurate tool which converts the spoken word into written text! You do need to speak quite clearly, so it could be really useful in speech therapy, and for any pupil who struggles to write or type. This does require an internet connection to work however, and I think out school internet filter blocks it.

    Just a few ideas for starters, I'd love to hear of any other ways people are using them in the classroom!

    On a technical note, if you've got a wifi network in school it's very easy to connect them to that, and you can enter proxy settings so the pupils get the same filtered internet access they will get on the computers. If they are all synced with one computer on a single itunes account, then it's easy to get them sync by wifi. This means that any app you install on one ipod will pop up on all the others when they sync. I'm going to buy a £25 itunes voucher so that I've got a running budget to buy a few apps. Pupils cannot install apps themselves as it requires a password.
  2. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

  3. RJR_38

    RJR_38 New commenter

    Our school has juist finished an ipad trial with one of our classes (main stream) and we will probably be goign over to every child with an ipad in September.
    I haven't been part of the trial but I recognise lots of the apps you mentioned as ones they have used. Also key notes - for recording their topic work and they were used in PE to photograph/write about a circuit they made.
    They have used them in art to do David Hocking style pieces (afraid I don't know the app though) plus loads of quick recall things in maths.
    They have also been using the ipads as a way of everyone having the same book to read much more cheaply than buying actual paperbacks etc.

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