Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Flasher Cards

One of the coolest things about giving every sixth grader an iPad is seeing the ways they find to use it to learn. (Of course, they are finding ways to use it NOT to learn, but the reverse is definitely true as well.)

Watching 80 people use something as simple as a glorified flash card app is amazing; all of its functionality is on display: some love the matching feature and try over and over to beat their best time, others prefer to practice vocabulary by filling in the blank. Many have discovered the dictionary feature embedded within, and some have even realized that they only need speak the words to make their cards.

This latter feature can be a little glitchy, though, particularly when one tries to use it in a room full of chattering sixth graders. Thus it was that I came upon one of my more conscientious students repeating the word dictate over and over into the screen of her iPad.

"I hate this thing!" she complained.

"Try saying it really slowly," the student next to her said.

Our class was ending, and many students were filing by her to put their English binders away as she enunciated the word in two elongated syllables.

"Oh my God!" one of her classmates said, and I looked over to find them both wide-eyed and giggling, looking at her device with bright red faces. "Here," he continued, and then leaned over her shoulder and typed d-i-c-t-a-t-e."


  1. I come by every once in awhile and so thoroughly enjoy reading your posts especially your classroom anecdotes. They really make me smile when I read about your students.