Friday, February 4, 2011

I *heart* my iPhone

About a year and a half ago, our phone contracts were up for renewal and hubby had been wanting an iPhone. A lot of my students had them, but I was not impressed, I couldn't figure out why anyone would want to spend that much money on a phone, plus an outrageous monthly fee for the data plan. So hubs ended up getting one while I got a "texting" phone that I thought totally fit my needs. About 6 months later, I finally saw the need for one as my students were studying for final exams and asked to take a picture of the review answer key so they would have it at home. *Shrug*, sure why not! One student offered to post the pictures on his facebook page and the kids were happily reviewing, but it got me to thinking about the uses of an iPhone in the classroom. A few days later, after stalking Craigslist for an affordable iPhone, I found a good deal and bought myself one. Now, less than a year later, I can't imagine what I would do without it!

For example, in Algebra 2, I use it as a scanner, to take pictures of files that I want to post on the class website (answer keys, etc), or when I want to point out specific instructions on a paper. When we were solving polynomial functions, I did a matching jigsaw like puzzle, but I knew if I just verbally told them that most of the expressions were repeated as equations, they would be clueless, so I snapped a picture, hooked up phone to my computer and projected the following onto the Promethean to show the kids what I was referring to.

I've also used it as a scanner in AP Stat, but I also like it for snapping pictures of students doing class activities or to embed into a Jing video later on as a remediation tool. I took pictures as we explored what happens when we flip a penny 10 times, recording the proportion of heads versus flipping the penny 20 times. Now these pictures will be put into a screencast for review of sampling distributions of proportions. (Note: I'm also fond of Post-It pad paper and Dollar Tree smiley face stickers when I need to make graphs in Stat). I didn't take a picture of all of the writing I did afterwards - we talked about the difference between p and p-hat, and talked about the overall Normal model pattern that would emerge if we were to continue flipping the penny and recording p-hats

(Sorry for the sideways graph....)

In addition to using my iPhone for about every avenue of my life, I sent my AVID kids on a snow day scavenger hunt to find cool education apps that they could use to help them study and/or get organized. Since I haven't seen them since I gave them the assignment, I'll have to update you next week on what they found :)

I know there has to be more awesome ways to harness the power of my little mobile computer, how do you use it in the classroom?


rickh823 said...

Oddly--being a Mac/iPhone guru myself--I had never thought of using this "can't-live-without" device in my classroom in ways that you suggest! I am one of those who "must" get the new incarnation of the iPhone every summer, and now by incorporating it into my teaching I can "justify" the expense ;-)

MizT said...

Love the idea of justifying the expense - wonder if that's deductible as an educational item? :)