It has been over a week now that the students in one Year 7 class have had their devices in the classroom.
TALKING TO TEACHERS
When I realised that there were so many different types of devices being used, I told the principal that there needed to be a meeting with the teachers to explain the different platforms and capabilities. I also felt that I should encourage them to experiment with new approaches to their lessons so that they were more student-centered and driven by the access to technology.
Questions raised were things like:
Q. What do you do when they are playing games?
A: Ask them to stop, sit with them ask what the game is. Ask them if they think it is relevant to the class. Sit with them until they die and lose the level!! (A teacher sitting next to the is a little off putting!! HEHE)
Q. How can I get the PDF of the textbook onto an iPad?
A: There are some apps that allow you to share files… or you can chunk the textbook and break the file up by chapter using Adobe Acrobat Pro. (Or maybe there is an alternative to using a textbook….??)
Q: I wanted to use a flash resource, but I am disappointed because students with iPads can’t use this resource
A: Sharing is caring… or ask students to find an alternative
Q: Are we here because the parents have said we are not using the laptops in class?
A: *pause* *shocked look on face* No, you are here so I can answer any of your questions
I gave them a sheet that simplified the tools on each device and summarised what the students had.
The epic tech dude and my twitter PLN helped us to figure out why the PC’s weren’t connecting to the schools DER wireless network. Because we didn’t give any specs to kids about laptops, and perhaps we didn’t realise at the time…. but if students are to have a PC – they need their wireless card to run at 5GHz…!! Many PC’s seem to have 2.4GHz cards and these will NOT connect to the network. There is a way to get a USB adaptor that converts the 2.4 to a 5GHz – but of course this is not ideal.
The kids are total keen beans and are loving the freedom having their own device has.
I was amused in class the other day, when I saw three boys huddled around some papers. I looked and saw that it was a 5 page worksheet stapled together. I asked what they were doing.
2 said, “We haven’t done our homework!”
ME: “And??? What are you doing now???”
BOYS: Copying his work
ME: See, this is why I think technology can make class more engaging. You guys are never going to remember this stuff if you are just filling in a cloze passage and a table. What if we googled what was on the sheet.
*insert google search here*
ME: Look at this, heaps of sites that can explain this content to you….
At this point I walked away, shaking my head. 3 minutes later, one of the boys came up to me and asked for my help.
He had found a tutorial online relating to the content on the worksheet. He was following the steps, and inputting data into Excel but needed help making it into a graph. I showed him how.
ALL 3 BOYS: WOW! That is so cool Miss!
*smile on my face*
ME: Yes it is… and how much more have you learnt now….!!!!