Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch

Louise & K-L

For this year’s Hands On Literacy conference, my teaching colleague Louise Phinney and I teamed up (again!) to present about Early Years Literacy with the iPod Touch.

Thankfully, our school recently purchased the latest version of the iPod Touch – which comes complete with a dual-facing HD camera/video. I consider this a complete game-changer, especially in the Early Years, as it opens up so many ways for students and teachers to document learning.

One of the links I was pleased to share with people was our ever-increasing list of iPod Touch apps we are currently using at UWCSEA East. They are loosely arranged into categories (which we have as folders on our iPod Touches), so students and teachers can find apps easily.

Louise has been doing some fantastic work in the Early Years at our school, so it was great to share what has been going on inside our classrooms. Although we would like share our presentation and include all images and videos, due to some restrictions on the use of student images, we are unable to do so at this time (with the exception of my K1 daughter – I’ll happily post her modeling what we’ve been doing!). In the meantime, here is a highlights package of what we shared:

Not just One-Hit Wonders

As Digital Literacy teachers, we are always on the look out for apps that go beyond being a “One-Hit Wonder” and have versatility across subject disciplines and grade levels. Here are a few of our favourites:

Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.17.25

Comic Touch $2.99

This app works fantastically with the dual-facing camera on the iPod Touch. We used this with our K1s, who are currently exploring feelings as a part of their unit of inquiry into Who We Are.  Students took pictures of themselves showing different emotions/feelings, then added a speech bubble naming the feeling.

Scarlett surprised
Screen shot 2010-11-04 at PM 01.11.50 Strip Designer $2.99

This neat app allows you to make a variety of comic strips, however we used the most basic ‘title page’ format to create a visual dictionary of ‘M words’ with some K2 students.

Our K2s blew me away with their picture taking ability – check out the example to the right!

Again, this app has the potential to be used at many different grade levels for different purposes.

Measure
Screen shot 2010-11-10 at AM 11.31.20 QR Code Reader for iPhone Free

Much has been written about QR Codes lately, and this was our big WOW exciting thing to share. We showed this video on how a High School in the states are using QR Codes, then shared some task cards Louise had created to consolidate phonics, literacy and mathematics work in the classroom. I will share the examples in another post, but suffice to say our participants seemed impressed  🙂

To generate our QR Codes, we used the Kaywa QR Code Generator.

QR Codes Amazing Race Orchard

Screen shot 2010-11-12 at PM 03.02.40 Sonic Pics $2.99

This easy-to-use app lets you create narrated slideshows of photos you have taken.

Our G1 students went on a shape hunt, and took photos of shapes in the environment around them. They selected the best images, and explained the properties of each of the shapes shown.

The list of ideas one could use this app with is endless. Students could photograph their work (e.g. a piece of art they are constructing from start to finish, and explain the process, narrate field trips, explain a solution to a maths problem and many more.

Shape hunt

Presenting with Louise was relaxing and enjoyable, and I am looking forward to our next workshop – whatever it may entail..!

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