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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Student Engagement on the Go

"This is my 3-year old daughter the day the iPad came out," said Patrick McGee as he displayed a movie of a young girl sitting at a kitchen counter, gripping an iPad in both hands. The audience watched as the little girl found, launched, and began to use a Dr. Seuss app; all without intervention or explanation from an adult. "Kids know--intuitively--how these things work; even at 3," he said. "We need to use that."

The key reason to implement mobile computing technologies as the iPad and iPod Touch in the classroom is student engagement, says McGee, the assistant principal of a Florida school. He says the technology can be used to increase productivity or involve students in activities that were uninteresting to them as a pen-and-paper process. McGee's experience includes piloting programs for both the iPad and the iPod touch. "We have used them at the elementary level" to enhance reading, improve comprehension, and measure fluency. At the secondary level, the focus of these devices has been on math, science, and for use as a powerful reference tool. "One of the really great things about the iBooks app is that each book comes with a built in dictionary." That's pretty powerful, he said.

McGee also pointed out the many productivity uses of the devices, listing several apps that he deploys regularly, including iBooks, e-mail, LogMeIn, KeyNote, and Pages; many available for both devices. T.H.E. Journal (3/2)

1 comment:

  1. Student engagement is a worthy goal but it is not as important as student learning. Technology can be a great tool if it is connected with meaningful learning. Do not assume that because students are engaged that they are learning. The question to ask is "What is the best way for students to master these learning targets?"

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