iPod Trial,  Teacher Reflection,  Technology in PE

PD – staff using iPods

unboxing iPod touch

Unboxing iPod Touch by FHKE CC BY SA

Recently I was one of 20 presenters at our annual school Speedgeeking session.  I decided to focus on iPods/iDevices and to introduce my audience to Coach’s Eye/Dropbox and Reflector.  I had 7 minutes to discuss these with my audience (between 4-7 people) and repeated the experience 7 times to new people.

I started off with the usual speel, who I am; what I teach; what I am trialing and trying to do in PE and then launched into the apps and iDevices.  But after the second round of 7 minutes, I had to take a step back.  I was finding that in the body language there was such a diverse range that I needed to change tact a little bit and slow down to meet the middle person.

I didn’t do a great job of preparing for this presentation.  I had thought about slowing down my speech, about less words and more showing of the apps themselves, putting 4 iPods on the tables for everyone to see/touch and that often less is more as there are only 7 minutes!  But I hadn’t banked on the uncomfortable moments in my presentation – how to make my audience more comfortable with mobile technology.  I hadn’t even thought about presenting to someone who had not even touched an iPod before.

Upon reflection I should have been more prepared.  I think that we do tend to shift our focus and assumption that people will naturally be curious and will come with some previous smart device experience when we spend a lot of time around them, but this was clearly not the case with a few in my crowd last week.  I had one person ask me if this (the iPod on the desk) was an iPod?, and was interested because she hadn’t seen/held/touched one before.  I had another lady who didn’t want to pick one up at all, she was very nervous and worried about the next 7 minutes and what she might be asked to do.  And of course the other extreme were the curious who nodded politely but who just wanted to see what apps I had and get into Minecraft while I was sharing something they deemed less important.

This made me think about what happens both with staff but more about our students.  While I am keen to roll out iPods and mobile tech into my classroom what are the stats on kids using technology, am I shooting too high, how much do I need to explain and what assumptions can I make about their first iDevice lesson with me in PE?  After a little research, I found some great infographics on this topic.  Kid tech according to Apple gives a very clear picture of kids under 8.  The take-aways here at that over 50% of 5-8 year olds use Tablets/iPad type devices and that 7 out of 10 kids (under 12) are using iDevices in their homes.  So it might be sufficient for me to assume that 70% of my kids will be okay with iDevices, and I need to assume that at least 30% may need more help – but with 70% of the class presumably okay, then we will outnumber those who are new to this experience, which is a very good number to have!  So my take aways here are that we need to consider the 3/10 in our class who may find technology daunting and surround them with able kids who are naturally curious and excited, and this may also be the case for our PE colleagues or other teachers/educators/administrators/parents in our learning communities.

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