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Mount Kisco Elementary Classroom Goes Digital

Mount Kisco, NY-- So often a child will get their hands on technology, whether it is a phone or a computer or an iPad, and have the remarkable wherewithal to know what to do with it. One Mount Kisco Elementary School classroom is taking advantage of that nearly innate skill, using iPod Touches to help the kids improve their reading skills.

Daniel Caffrey is the head of the class, a teacher at the elementary school for the last seven years. Caffrey is a Tiered Teacher who works with children from grade three through five, giving students academic and enrichment support. This fall, he is testing out his technological range of support.

After going to a two-day seminar over the summer on using Apple technology for educational purposes, he brought what he learned to his fourth grade classroom. The children are able to use iPod touches to assist them in reading and delivering words.

“Part of the practice is they listen to the story being read, and they follow along,” Caffrey said. “…And then they put a microphone into the iPod Touch, and they read into it, record it, email it to me, and I can listen to it later on.”

The listening is not only for the teacher, as the kids can hear their own words, and where they can improve.

Because you can record it while your reading, you can hear it later,” said nine-year-old David Dieguez. “I hear myself improving my score, and I’m glad.”

The children first follow along to a short story read by someone of Read Naturally, the program the school was already using to help with phonics development. Then, the child plugs in a microphone and reads aloud the same text he or she heard, creating a file.

“David’s goal is to read at a certain level, so every week he’s practicing again, listening to it being read, then reading it to the iPod,” Caffrey said. “Then his progress gets tracked. In terms of keeping the data, we’ll be tracking his words-per-minute.”

Caffrey will be able to see by the end of the program how the kids will have been affected by the iPod Touches, data that will be helpful in judging whether that kind of technology has a place in the Mount Kisco classroom.

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