Duniway Middle School is expanding educational opportunities for sixth graders with new technology. The school purchased 30 iPads, a charging cart, headphones, microphones and educational apps with an Ed Tech grant.
Seven sixth-grade core teachers are now incorporating them into their classroom instruction. Teresa Denney and Allison Eitzen, the coaches, and Jamie Mendoza, Gwen Silva, Mark Schoenbein, David Holmes, and Tim Love have used the technology for reading, writing, drawing to illustrate concepts, geography, social studies.
"Because we have thirty iPads, an entire class can use the iPad for any purpose all at once," said Eitzen.
The apps, or software, they use include:
iTalk: Students listen to their writing by reading it aloud into the app.
"One thing that has made a real difference in our writing instruction is the use of the app "iTalk" to read their paper aloud into the iPad and then listen to their writing using headphones," said Eitzen. "This allows them to revise their writing more efficiently, and we have seen a real difference in the end products. Being able to revise and edit so easily has made all students more willing to go through the writing process," she said.
Content-specific apps to enhance the social studies curriculum. For example, Britannica Kids: Ancient Egypt has information, videos, photos of artifacts and places, learning games and more.
"These apps put all of those tools at the students' fingertips at any moment, said Eitzen.
Reading apps: Books on iBooks, an electronic book app. The app has the same text as the paper book, but allows the students to highlight, add notes and look up unknown words right from the screen.
"In addition to the increased engagement we get from using an electronic reader, the students actually have more tools to use while reading," said Eitzen. "We also are able to get an audio book on iTunes, which means that students can listen to a book while they read, aiding comprehension."
Student-teacher communication: Edmodo, a free web tool allows students and teachers to write messages to each other. It allows teachers to assign work and students to complete it via the Internet.
The school is still exploring ways to use the new tools. “We've only begun to scratch the surface of what we'll be able to do with iPads," said Eitzen.
Pictured below is a sixth grader demonstrating an iPad app for School Board Chair Kathy Cabe at a recent School Board meeting.