I received a grant for MP3 players this past year and am using them for 1-5 graders. I downloaded audiobooks for them to read along with. They also create podcasts of their reader's theater performances and we have those available on the MP3's. Students also write book reviews on some of the books they really enjoy and we record these and have them on the players as well. Not quite the ipods that I wanted but the grant was small. Good luck!
I used a set of refurbished PalmOne handheld computers to conduct an action research project in my second grade classroom. My purpose was to see if daily, systematic use of palms would improve the speed and accuracy of student computational skills. In comparing pretest and posttest scores, as well as reviewing comments from students and parents, my class made significant improvements in just three weeks. In fact, eighty percent of the students increased in math fluency anywhere from two to sixteen percent. In addition, five students demonstrated gains of ten percent or more. During the practice times with Palms, my students were highly motivated, engaged, and enthusiastic.
We have also used other programs such as Notepad to practice spelling words. Students write or type them into the Palm and then they can send them to me via Bluetooth so there is some accountability. There are strategy games, word games, etc. that were excellent for sponge activities. The Palms also made it easy to provide differentiated activities for my students.
Next year I plan to experiment with other programs like Fling It which pull specific webpages onto the Palms so I can enhance some of my lesson plans.
When I started using the Palms it was important to establish some firm management rules--but the kids caught on very quickly and even taught me some tricks. Overall, I can't imagine not having them in my second grade room.
Our Primary School (K-3) just started using itouches last year. The IT staff purchased approximately 20 and preloaded them with several free education apps per grade level, and everyone on the faculty has been encouraged to recommend any other free apps they think would be appropriate and useful. We've found the itouches are particularly useful for motivating students to practice their developing skills in Reading and Math, and with the immediate feedback that the apps provide our students, it's very easy to individualize instruction! We've never before seem children so engaed and enthusiastic about "drilling" their math facts!
Teachers must sign up to use the itouches-whether they plan to use just one or all 20 of them! We've found that Itouch appointments are best listed on a special Google Doc that everyone can see and update as necessary.