Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orientation iPod Video Tours

I don't know about you guys, but orientation is one my least favorite times of the year. I love meeting all the new kids, but I hate repeating the same thing over and over and over. With 5 eighth grade teachers, I do the same exact presentation almost 30 times each fall. Orientation requires a lot of talking - I have to convey loads of information, so even though I try to mix in other activities to keep everyone interested and intersperse some hands-on learning, I'm still exhausted by the end of the day.

So, two years ago, I smartened up. My goal was to create a library orientation activity that didn't result in permanent laryngitis. I had a class set of iPods at my disposal, so I developed a library iPod tour. Using my iPhone and iMovie, I recorded 1-2 minute clips about each section of the library. Students move from station to station around the library. At each station, they watch the corresponding video on the iPod about that zone. After viewing the iPod video, they complete a task.

Here's an example of what students watch at Stop #2 - The Computers.


This is the task they're asked to complete:

Task #2 – Computers: Locking your workstation keeps other people from using your computer account. Predict what might happen if you forget to lock your workstation.

And here's another example - Stop #3 - Graphic Novels.



And the corresponding task:

Task #3 – Graphic Novels: What are three characteristics or traits most graphic novels have in common? You can use the books to help you come up with a list.

When coming up with the tasks, I went out of my way to include questions that were higher level thinking, rather than simply recall. I ask students to rank things, make predictions, and categorize.

Overall, it works well. Students groove on the independence of the activity and the novelty factor of the iPods, and I'm able to convey all the important information without losing my voice.

How do you handle orientation? Any tips for making it easier?

4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! My 6th graders all have iPads and this would work beautifully for them.

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    Replies
    1. I'm loving it even more this year as I do orientation 8 months pregnant . . . :)

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