iPods Invigorate Learning at Mayfield Intermediate School
“You don’t have to worry about messy handwriting,” said one fifth grade student, “and you finish faster.”
Students in Peter Wolf and Melissa Butera’s fifth grade class at Mayfield Intermediate School rave about the using the Apple iPod touch as part of their lessons.
“As soon as they found out this was a class that uses the iPod, they became more interested in what we were learning,” Butera said, just two weeks into the new school year.
And use it they do—every day, in all subjects. Wolf spent much of his summer finding and testing hundreds of applications, including many to support existing activities. The team’s always-popular Word Detective vocabulary activity will be enhanced this year. Students will present word findings weekly, integrating the iPod touch with the interactive whiteboard mounted on the front wall.
Last year, Wolf obtained 14 iPod touch units that Manassas City Public Schools had on hand and introduced them to his class as part of a research project, required of all third-year teachers. Now, the pocket computer’s success has Wolf seeking to expand the collection to a class set.
Wolf’s research last year proved that, after repeated exposure, 73% of the class performed the same or better on tests using the iPod touch, compared to paper and pencil results. Wolf also discovered efficiency as a significant benefit.
“Tests taken using the iPod lasted no more than 10 minutes, while paper and pencil format tests took students 30 to 40 minutes to complete,” allowing more time for classroom instruction, he said. Test grading is automatic, freeing up the teacher to focus on planning.
The most important benefit? “Students are excited about any lesson that involves the iPod,” according to Butera, and confirmed by one of her students: “When I hear our teacher say we are going to use the iPods, I get happy!”