Sunday, May 15, 2011

Woogie Review

Woogie - The Huggable Case and Media Player for iPod touch and iPhone
What is a Woogie?
Woogie is 50% stuffed animal (for your kids) and 50% protective case (for your iPhone or iPod touch), and 100% fun! A protective pocket velcroes shut to hold your iPhone or iPod touch secure, while a touch-through screen protector lets you choose movies, apps, or music for your child. Woogie's built-in speaker is powered by 2 (included) AAA batteries, or you can plug in headphones.

We put two Woogie to use in two places that we thought could put it to the test.
The first place was in a first grade classroom. The overall make-up of the classroom is 19 first grade students ranging from children with special needs to academically gifted students. We were interested in finding out if the Woogie had an appeal to a certain style learner or personality.

The Woogie was used on an iPod Touch and the Touch was utilized during centers just as it is each week - the only difference being it was a lot cuddlier. The students were told what the product was and that they would be given a chance to use it.

Immediately, students showed interest and wanted to use the iPods so that they could get their hands on the Woogie. The first reaction was to cuddle it. It is incredibly soft and eye catching. Once students got past the novelty of the product, they seemed to really settle into their work which was to watch a teacher made podcast and answer the questions at the end of the viewing. Both partners could be found stretched out across the cushions with the Woogie held close.

Amazingly (if possible) students seemed even more engaged in the learning process and much calmer than usual during an already exciting activity. We found no difference in the amount of appeal between different types of students. The Woogie was no less appealing to boys than girls and no more engaging to struggling learners than high achievers. Students were equally enthusiastic about using the product. The one thing that stood out above all else was that the Woogie did seem to successfully satisfy the needs of tactile learners.

Next up we placed a Woogie in a household with children aged 6 months, 3 years and 13 years old.
We were interested to see how a Woogie would hold up while children played with an iPhone 4. The Woogie was given to the 6 month old who immediately cuddled it and laid his head on it. He was allowed to play his favorite xylophone app and had no trouble accessing the screen through the plastic barrier of the Woogie. The Woogie was able to withstand being banged up and down and drooled on without a hitch.

The Woogie was given to the three year old who also first snuggled with it and found more use using it as a stuffed animal rather than a tool. Once he was shown that it housed the iPhone he showed more interest and began to use it as he would have if it had it's regular protective case. The Woogie survived an accidental trip down the stairs as well as cookie crumbs. The crumbs were easily brushed off and the iPhone remained unscathed.

There weren't any real expectations or plans to give the 13 year old the Woogie to use but wouldn't you know that one day it magically appeared on her bed connected to her iPod. Let's just say we had a hard time getting it back from her.

All in all the Woogie is a great little idea. We like the weight of it, it seems to have some substance which makes it good for carrying around and the shape is fun. We found that the screen was fairly accessible even through the thick plastic barrier and a screen protector on the device. We found the battery pack a little cumbersome to pull out but with some after thought figured it was best that way seeing as we would like to be able to think that it's somewhat child proof.

We did find ourselves wishing the speaker plug that goes into the headphone jack was just a tad bit longer - it just didn't feel quite right while trying to slide a device in the seemed like we had a tug a little more than we wanted to.

The Woogie also comes with a free download of Woogie Sesame Street Sampler. We downloaded this app from iTunes and found it to be a terrific little app. Our favorite part was being able to record your voice while reading the story. This is a great way for students to practice fluency and parents to provide a special read-aloud experience for their children.

Overall the Woogie is a great purchase and well worth the reasonable price tag of $19.99.
For more information on Woogie please visit them here.

G.Whiz was provided this product for free from Griffin Tech in exchange for an honest review.
Griffin Tech reviewer policy found here:

Monday, April 25, 2011

This Week's Featured DonorsChoose Project!

We are Still Flipping Over C2i Technology!

Classroom project requested by Mrs. F. on Apr 10, 2011
My Students: Do you remember the first time that you had to write a book report and you had no idea what to write about? Our C2i project will make it exciting for the children to learn literacy skills through technology.
I teach second grade at a public school in an impoverished and high crime area in urban Pennsylvania. I have a class of students who love to read. They are very sweet and everyone who meets them falls in love with them. They are constantly requesting to play computer games.
G.Whiz! says: "Please consider donating to this wonderful project - every penny counts."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Woogie Review

So, this week the Woogie has been placed in an elementary classroom. We thought the best place would be in a classroom of children with diverse needs.
We'll be seeing how this product holds up to the educational and well...snuggling needs of these kiddos. We'll see how the gifted, average, and special needs child responds to this cuddly tool used to keep precious technology safe.

Griffin Tech has been more than gracious to not only offer a product for review in a classroom but also a home. Stay tuned for a review as well as a giveaway to be announced at a later date (post-review).

Monday, March 28, 2011

DonorsChoose Spotlight

Be sure to check out this week's DonorsChoose spotlight. All it takes is a dollar to give to a worthy project - trust's well appreciated.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diipo - Collaborative Classroom in Beta Form

Interested in connecting your class digitally? Check out diipo in it's beta version and see what you think.

This site provides a free service for collaborative blogging and networking between teachers and their students. A teacher can set up class sites, post announcements and assignments with links and attachments for students.
When students register, they show up in a roster on the site and can then upload files for sharing, post entries to a class blog, contribute to other group projects, and search archived conversations and posts from past projects. There is also an educator lounge which allows teachers to communicate with each other.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kohl's Cares Scholarship

Every year, Kohl's recognizes and rewards young volunteers (ages 6-18) across the country for their amazing contributions to their communities. This year we are recognizing more than 2,100 kids with more than $415,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Nominations accepted
February 1 - March 15, 2011