On this visit we brought two iPads with us, each loaded with a preliminary version of our app. This version contained only one song, Moment 4 Life by Nicki Minaj, and required the students to identify only three basic parts of speech-nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
We had the children split into groups of 2-3 and play the game as a team.
Findings– What we learned/what changes we will make
Overall, the app seemed to be a success. Students were very intrigued by the technology and in all groups began talking about who owned iPads/iPods and how much they loved using them. This visit also proved our theory that students will remain focused and interested for a longer period of time when stimulated by a song that they enjoy. Granted, we quickly realized that not all children are enticed by the same music so eventually it will be important to have a wide variety of songs or somehow allow the students to import their own songs into the game. We also noticed that they still have quite a difficult time identifying certain parts of speech so we will look to include some sort of tutorial or definitions with our next version of the app.
We noted some common themes throughout all of the groups…
– The children all asked for more levels and different songs-they were able to memorize where each word belonged after a few tries.
– They all wanted some sort of “you win” screen as a reward when they beat the game.
– We will need to create a barrier against simply dragging and dropping/guessing. They seemed to be doing this a lot even though they knew that they might lose. We have the issue of them memorizing instead of learning– to them, it’s all about winning!