In Glued to the screen, Hechinger’s Gail Robinson looks at third-graders who spend three-quarters of the day on IPads. The affluent New York suburb of Mineola has supplied tablets to all students.
In Morgan Mercaldi’s class, many students use eSpark, which creates a “playlist” of education apps geared to each student’s needs, reports Robinson. After researching online and in books, students organize a first-person narrative about frogs on their iPads, then write it up on paper. The teacher pairs each student with a partner to revise their writing.
“Working with eSpark, Mineola selected apps, readings and videos” geared to Common Core standards, writes Robinson.
Third-graders began with the variety of apps available on eSpark and then added MobyMax, which provides electronic curricula, mostly for math. Teachers began using Edmodo to allow students to submit their work electronically for quick review.
Mercaldi teaches a short math less on multiplying to determine the area of rectangles. Students use their iPads to answer questions she’s posted on Edmodo. The software makes it easy to see where a student may need extra help.
Later the class will divide into four groups working at different levels. While one group reads with the teacher, the others will do lessons on eSpark, Edmodo or MobyMax.
Mineola also is working with School4One to “compile digital portfolios that will track student progress in meeting individual Common Core standards.”