Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tech Challenge 3: A Class of 20 iPads Using Quizlet

Isn't this a beautiful sight? A cart loaded down with brand new iPads is available to me anytime I wish to check them out from the library. It is a beautiful, terrifying thing! How do you pass out expensive technology to 20 students when half of your classes have over 25 students and still manage true undistracted learning?

The answer: Quizlet
Quizlet is an app that can be use online, on the iPhone, AND on the iPad. Luckily my students had access to all three of those things in my room on Tuesday!

The learning goal: Get students to study and learn their vocabulary terms.

The night before:
1. I sent out a message requesting that my students with iPhones download the free Quizlet app.
2. I logged onto Quizlet's website and typed in both of my class vocabulary lists and named them "HHS Lord of the Flies" and "HHS The Pearl" so they could be easily searched for.

At the beginning of class:
1. I had students get out their headphones and iphones and leave everything else at the front of the room. This clears the aisles so we don't have any shattered iPads or disappearing iPads for that matter.

The Lesson:

Once the Quizlet app was open and the students had all searched for our class list, we were able to get started. The students will breeze right through all of the fun things Quizlet has to offer in a matter of minutes if you are not giving them clear steps to complete. I wanted my students to get 25-30 minutes of quality time studying their vocabulary terms. By the end of the day, we had this routine down pat!

1. The List: Let students play with the sound feature on their vocabulary list. I told them to click through each word in the list and listen to the woman pronounce the words. My second period had a particular good time syncing their iPads to pronounce "Mortification: Humiliation" over and over simultaneously. It was very funny and very disturbing.  After having fun with the list, they were instructed to either plug in their headphones or turn the sound OFF.

2. Card Mode: The students were then to click through the flash-card function once.
3. Learn Mode: I then had the students complete a few rounds in the learn mode. During this mode the students are given definitions and have to type in the correct word--with the correct spelling! I put a word bank on each desk for spelling purposes. This mode tracks which words the students have learned and mastered.

4. Scatter Mode: Once they have completed learn mode, I let the students jump into a game called Scatter Mode. This is a timed matching game. They have to match the words to the definitions as fast as they can. I asked the students to try to complete the game in less than 20 seconds. They loved the competitiveness of it!

5. Final Quiz: I asked the students to log back into Card Mode to see how many of the definitions they were able to remember by the end of the lesson.

6. Lesson Extender: After I had the students logged out and the iPads stored back in the cart, I put my iPad on my Elmo. I asked the students to pronounce the words together for me as I flipped through the card mode. 

There you have it! 100% engagement in vocabulary learning for 30 minutes straight! Their eyes and ears were glued to these words for the entire lesson, freeing me up to deal with the occasional technology issue. The kids had fun with it, they learned a new resource that they can access at home, and it prepared them for our upcoming test.

I'm planning out some future lessons using literary terms and example sentences using Quizlet. What other iPad apps do you use with a classroom set of iPads?

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