These are my notes from Sheri Burkeen and Shelley Herzke‘s presentation, “PODDY Training: iPod Touches in the Early Childhood Classroom” on 1 Oct 2010 at the Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence’s fall conference.

ADDITION 10/7/2010: This session is also available as an audio podcast!

Resources for this presentation:

Sheri Burkeen on Twitter: @ecctech
Shelley Herzke on Twitter: @sherzke

We are teachers at ST Mary’s Episocal School for Girls
– we are like PDS but for all-girls

Climate of sharing now is SO different and SO wonderful today in education

We have shared this for iSummit in Atlanta, at ISTE in Denver this summer, other times

We have found the size of the iPods really fits our 3, 4 and 5 year olds
– at the same time, there are some awesome iPad apps though
– pricepoints are very different for iPod Touches and iPads
– you don’t have to have an entire cart: we do LOTS of center-based activities, having 4 or 5 that you rotate among a grade level

The iPod Project: How it Came to Be
– I didn’t like my old listening center

We have the Bradford cart solution, everything syncs to a central computer
– all 40 will charge at the same time
– 20 sync at the same time
– upgrades can take more time, esp with updates like 4.0 this summer
– there is a utility Apple offers for free that helps
– we have a boom box that stays on the cart
– this lets us do an audio book with the entire class at once
– we have headphones with the iPod Touches and purchased extras

To manage headphones, we use little plastic boxes
– have snap on lids

Headphones that come with iPod Touches are round and they HURT when kids put them in (often)
– for that reason I do NOT put in ear buds into kids ears for them, they do it
– they learn how they can hold up one of the ear buds to their ears if they ear bud won’t fit

We use the app iTalk Recorder

We have about 20 iPods now
– we are sharing some of our fav

Our appsfire page lists our favorite apps

Using these apps provide SO many openings for conversations, extension activities
– we do not simply give kids iPods and send them to the corner to work quietly, by themselves for 20 minutes

Reading Readiness

– I can differentiate in my classroom using this app
– some kids are ready for blends
– some kids just need single consonant sounds
– this is a WC icon

– the very first app we used

Preschool Pattern Recognition
– a real good one that builds on top of last lesson
– great to let kids go as far as they can
– same company has similar app now about analogies

White board is a “must have app”
– Sheri’s favorite classroom app!
Kid Whiteboard by NBR-Soft
– we keep this in the dock!

Coin Math: Senior Kindergarten Math
– great app for teaching making change

iTalk Recorder is a good voice recorder
– SUCH great thing about this app, you can get the iPod Touches close to the computer and it will sync the audio (you don’t have to plug it in)
– is SO great for providing feedback for fluency, letting students hear their own voices can be very powerful for fluency development

Options for creating your own podcasts
– GarageBand
– Movie
– Voice Memos (free app that comes with iPod, we like iTalk Lite’s navigation options better)

If we can’t find an audiobook we want, we create it ourselves and we share them on the iPod Touches
– today Sheri shared short audio recordings of her students talking about their dads, sharing something that is special about their dad
– I am really hoping to see growth in my students through these audio recordings this year

Audio Curriculum Components
– We have a teacher who imported audio CD resources into the computer, and created playlists for the iPod Touches with this content
– now have this organized to use iPod Touches with the girls and the physical / paper books

Sync or Swim
– this is the nitty gritty
– personal vs school accounts: we have ONE school account we sync everything through (that REALLY helps!)
– credit card vs gift card: Right now I use my budget funds to purchase gift cards, that way someone can’t run up a bill on the school credit card!
– tax exemptions: Apple will give that for schools for taxes charged on apps, download form and send receipt to
– music, movies, apps, podcasts
– iTunesU, Lit2Go

We have the cheapest, 8 GB iPods you can get
– most of our storage is for the apps
– we don’t keep everything on the iPod
– we are often changing things up for the curriculum

Speakaboos, Storynory, most of those you can find as podcasts in iTunes

When you are reading app reviews, beware many of those are written from a parent perspective
– we look at price
– we look at “customers also bought” suggestions

Appsfire Mix is a great tool
– do this on the computer which you use for the apps you have insalled

We share via email with teachers, they share this with parents at home
– we want parents to do this at home
– many of our kids do NOT have their own iPod Touches at home, but they DO have access to their parents’ iPhones when the

Cookie Doodle is one kids could do until Christmas and never get bored! (it is seriously addicting and fun!)

Using the Pddy in the Classroom
– classroom management strategies
– using the document camera
– use and care of the iPods
– Use and care of the headphones

My kids are on the iPods at least once per week
– lots of different

“Word on the Street” podcast from Sesame Street is GREAT

I have NOT given up the play dough and the paint!
– we’re doing iPods in a center, kids are rotating through different activities and still doing lots of hands-on activities with other things

We don’t use clorox wipes, I just use screen wipes
– we use bleach/clorox wipes with headphones for cleaning
– addressing germs is important

Kids are SO excited when we bring the iPods into the classroom
– periodically we have an ‘experiment day’ when kids are responsible to teach each other, share, and explore
– no direct instruction during this time from the teacher
– SO much learning takes place in these times!

When you install an app, technically you are supposed to tell the app developers how many iPods you are going to install it on
– the push in the Apple Store is toward site licensing for apps
– that happened this summer at the beginning of July, right before we went to iSummit
– this is a really unfortunate development
– See Tony Vincent’s post on this: “App Store Volume Purchase Program Explained” (Aug 2010)

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One Response to PODDY Training: iPod Touches in the Early Childhood Classroom #micon #edapp

  1. Penny says:

    RE: headphones .. My kids love these ear buds … they are shaped much differently than regular buds and are very comfortable. I’d highly recommend them.

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