Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Note taking and the iPad

Middle School math teacher Brooke Gelber shared with us a reflection on note taking in her classrooms and how the iPad is impacting learning and teaching in this area:

"Note taking has long been a source of discussion in my classroom. It is, no doubt, a useful skill to have. As a teacher, I am committed to a curriculum that goes beyond math and into skills that students will take with them into the world as we send them off to high school, college, life... Furthermore, notes are an important tool to be used when completing homework, or preparing for a quiz or test. But note taking is a challenge for some students. While some absorb as they are recording, some are distracted by it, fall behind, and get lost in just copying while missing the "meat" of the lesson. So what to do?

Enter the iPad.... During class, I instruct while projecting notes using Noteshelf. Students are given a choice to take notes or not, and asked to think critically whether the process of recording helps them or hinders. At the end of class, with a few quick taps, I email the notes to all students and they decide what to do with them. Many save them in folders or make books out of them in Noteshelf, others delete. Even students who took notes, tend to save them as an additional reference piece and/or a way to check their own notes. The best part? Even those who chose to watch, are still learning the skill of note taking, through modeling, as they watch how I organize and record my notes, so that when they are ready, they can do it themselves!"

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