This Seals the Deal!
I will continue to add to the series of blog posts on the importance of student choice in writing, but today I feel compelled to share on the topic of technology in the classroom.
Recently I have been thinking seriously about purchasing an iPad. It started about a year ago when a friend showed me her new toy. With her new iPad she had constant access to her Kindle, her e-mail and Facebook, her to-do lists, and more. I thought that was pretty neat but just couldn’t justify purchasing a new device when I already had a Smartphone that could do most of what she showed me. But I still thought it was pretty cool!
This school year, as I have attended many meetings, I have often found myself in the minority (sometimes the ONLY person in the room) of people still taking notes with a good old-fashioned notebook and ballpoint pen. I must say, that as much as I love technology, I do still love the feel of pen on paper and the overall experience of reading books with pages I can turn. But, as I looked around, I do admit that I had iPad envy as I watched my colleagues navigate from file to file to add notes, look up resources, etc. Last week as I participated in a kindergarten teacher lab, I watched the facilitator use her iPad to videotape a one-on-one conference so that she could show it to the whole group during our debrief session. Again, pretty neat!
Still, I wasn’t sure if I could justify getting a new toy just to keep up with the Joneses.
I have now found my justification! Last Friday a colleague shared with me an app that is available for the iPad (and iPhone and iPod Touch). It is called "Confer – A Notetaking App for Teachers". It is amazing! Everything I have always tried to do with my conferring notebook can be done with this app. Here are just a few:
- keep track of students I have conferred with
- keep records of compliments, teaching points, and future instruction
- group students with similar needs for strategy groups
- use flexible grouping to meet students’ needs
- track reading levels
- sort students for instruction in a variety of ways
I found this video that explains how this app works way better than I can: Confer – A Notetaking App for Teachers Video Demonstration
So that seals the deal! I am now going to buy myself a new Christmas present just so that I can use this app! (They haven’t come out with a version for my Android phone yet). I can’t wait to discover all the other ways this tool can help me in the classroom. I invite any of you who have been using iPadsin your classrooms to share your suggestions!