Breaking Newton’s Third Law
“What is Newton’s third law? “
“For every action there is a reaction?”
“Yes-for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. So what do you think your parents and everyone else in the community think you are going to do with the iPods?”
“Listen to music and play games!”
“Right! So we are going to break Newton’ third law! We are going to show everybody, that instead of the reaction you expect when kids use iPods in the classroom, amazing things happen and a whole lot of learning takes place.”
Today was the inaugural iPod touch day with the sixth grade class! Thanks to Becky Fisher and Paula White from Albemarle County School District in Virginia, every Somersworth School District sixth grader experienced using an iPod touch in the classroom for activities like using Astronomy Picture of the Day to look up space words for their ABC’s of Space wiki; using Idiomatic to find idioms they wanted to learn-then navigating to the Idiom Wiki to use one of the three idiom websites to find the meaning of their idioms. They used apps like Fraction’s Kitchen, Fraction Factory and Number Line to evaluate their favorite fraction app, and then explored thirds, sixths and sevenths. Every lesson with every group of students proved to be an engaging learning experience for teachers and students!
The embedded iPod professional development day was a follow up to a fast paced, engaging, hands on, teacher iPod workshop in which ten teachers walked away with an iPod touch to use in their classroom.
What did we learn?
Teachers, grown-ups and students need time to tinker-they need time with the device to figure stuff out on their own; we should not give them all the answers-tinkering is part of learning
Learning is social-learners need time to talk to each other about their learning-asking questions, giving advice, sharing discoveries, and working it out
Procedures and rules are good-for everyone. Be clear and up front, be realistic, and don’t expect learners to “know” what the boundaries are
Make learning transparent – if you are the teacher, it is okay not to have all the answers; learn alongside your students; let them become experts and share their learning with you. There’s nothing like empowering students.
We are looking forward to breaking Newton’s third law.