Do you remember reading about the Playaway giveaway that I posted in February? I had never heard of this gadget and had to find out more about it. The folks at Playaway were happy to see the post and asked me if I would post again. You bet, if it helps teachers and it’s FREE, I’ll post that gem!
Surprisingly, I received a Playaway and a Playaway View to test. I was stunned at the small size of both. Think credit card for the Playaway and a tad smaller than a CD case for the Playaway View.
The Playaway reminds me of a small walkman (anyone remember those?)–only smaller. This is an all in one unit. The book is actually the unit. There is no tape, no CD, no DVD, insert the AAA battery, plug in your headsets and listen to the book. To me that says, EASY for kids!
Raise your hand if you put red and green stickers on buttons so students know what button to push. This fits into that category. The BEST feature of the Playaway is the button to slow down (or speed up) the reader. So many students would benefit from that feature alone.
Although the price of Playaway is a bit steep in my opinion, keep in mind a few points. With a CD or DVD, the potential of scratches is going to happen in a school. That means replacement. I replaced very popular books on CD’s multiple times for that reason alone. With the Playaway, there is nothing to scratch because everything is IN the unit, therefore no replacement cost.
About that Playaway View. Basically I have the same opinion and can really see these used for the use of video, not just audio in classroom centers in the lower elementary classrooms. However, these could be more expensive for the school. More and more schools are installing technology into individual classrooms where viewing video/dvd/Skype/video online. This technology provides whole group participation because everyone can see the video via the large projector.
I also see the Playaway View as taking up a tremendous amount of space as this too is an all inclusive unit. Because I see the future of video to being almost exclusively online, or stored on a school/district server, I’m not so sure about Playaway View for schools.
BUT, I definitely see these in a public library. Parents & kids would be completely enamored with the unit as a travel companion.
The purchase of the Playaway and Playaway View can take a chunk out of the school budget requiring deep thought to the future needs of the school. These are nifty little gadgets!
While you are researching and drilling down the needs of the school, by all means, enter to win the units! You cannot go wrong if you are the winner of the $1,000 value!