WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 24, 2010, 11:05 AM

Teachers explore new ways to engage students

Perham, Minn. (WDAY TV) - It's an opportunity to help students who are behind, challenge students who are ahead, and engage students and teachers more in the classroom and some of it begins with high-tech gadgets most young adults already have: Ipods and Itouches.

I-pods: not just for music anymore...

Darrel: “A lot of wow moments.”

The I-pod Touch will be used in Perham-Dent classrooms to learn.

Jill: “21st century learning.”

Teachers are learning to download and use applications that provide language lessons, math games; even videos from places they're exploring in history and social studies.

Darrel: “A bit overwhelming at first, but like in the classroom, small steps.”

The new equipment and training stems from a Minnesota education grant to enhance education through technology. The grant paid for 60 I-pods and flip cameras and smart boards for most classrooms. It is interactive for students and educators because they can feel you're way through a lesson plan.

Jill: “Revising paragraph, up there doing math problem, going to a website to see a video of another way to do math problem.”

Darrel: “100 percent engaged, whereas before, some students drifting off.”

These devices also offer challenge opportunities for gifted students and remedial programs for those with special needs. Another bonus is that recorded lesson plans, website based instruction, and online calendars are all available anywhere you can get the internet. It is inviting not only teachers, but also absent students and parents into a new era of learning.

Flip cameras can be used to record and asses kids reading and verbal skills. Teachers can also use them to record lessons so students can listen to them again if they get behind, or if there's a substitute.