Having recently completed my first year with Kindles in the classroom, I thought it best to stop and share some successes and pitfalls in using these devices.
Over the course of the year, I was delighted to find that my storage solution for the Kindles held up quite well. Plugging and unplugging went very quickly. I'd still like to find an inexpensive way to keep these devices cleaner in the year to come. Because they are regularly shared between and among students, I would like to find an easy way to keep them clean, fingerprint free and less germy. I'd love some suggestions if you have them.
We used a variety of apps this year. Some were heavily utilized while others were quickly deleted for being light on content, obnoxious, ad-heavy, or just less user-friendly than others. Students regularly helped me update, move, and manage apps. Here are the winning "go to" apps as well as and the flops that won't be on the Kindles next fall.
During a typical day, we used the Kindles 3-4 times a day. In math we used them for basic facts review, in spelling we used them for word work and Spelling City, in reading a few students used them for Raz Kids. Of course, throughout the week there were many opportunities to use these devices in other content areas, I just found that this didn't happen very often outside of a occasional Kahoot!. Looking into next year, I hope to find ways for students to create more meaningful content and perhaps go beyond just playing review games or basic skills tasks. Now that most of the kinks are worked out, this is one area that I will need to focus on in the year ahead.
I debated originally whether or not I wanted to purchase cases for these devices. I ultimately decided to use whatever funds I would have spent on cases to instead purchase more devices. I have to say that I'm very happy I did. After many drops and bumps over the course of the year, I was delighted to see the resilience of the Kindles. In a carpeted classroom like mine, I do not see the need to purchase cases for these devices for the year ahead.
Got any questions about my first year using Kindles? Comment below.
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