Week 3 of being 1:1 has brought a sort of breath of fresh air in a sense. I am already noticing huge improvements in logistics/management, typing, problem solving, and overall engagement.
When it comes to managing a classroom of 25 + devices, I really feel that each teacher will have to find procedures and plans that work with their teaching style. Here is what works for me. The cart remains in the hallway during the day but students get their devices first thing in the morning after doing their lunch count. Each table has arranged a way to stack and place their devices in the middle of the table in a way that works best for them. We stack the devices only 2 high and always check the label on the bottom corresponds with our number in the classroom. This way students ensure that they are using their device. This was the first week I had students get the devices after lunch count right away without being reminded. This worked for our classroom and I love that they are there right away so when we need them we don’t have to go through the whole process of getting them out. Next week, I plan on having them log in right away too so we are not wasting classroom time later. I have been most impressed with how students seem to not mind the extra items on their table and have been able to make space so they can also write and read.
In order to help with logins, I made each student a laminated card. I made labels and typed all of their usernames and passwords that they would need thus far. I then stuck labels on the child’s card and had them laminated to store in their pencil boxes. This way they always have it and can access it at any point in the day. I have a sample below. On an actual students cards, I typed all the information in a label template through Microsoft Word.
This week I also added a Chromebook reflection sheet for students who are breaking our expectations that we agreed upon as a class. Students must select the expectation that was broken, write what they did, what they should have done, and what they will do next time. I sign it and the students takes it home to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned the next day. Monitoring and managing behavior with 1:1 devices is something I plan on addressing in a separate blog post.
Here is an example of my reflection sheet: Chromebook Reflection
One of the coolest things I have noticed, is how just in the last 3 weeks how much typing skills have improved. We have really been working on placing both hands on the keyboard (home row) so we are ready to type. We also have been working on typing in complete sentences with capitals and end punctuation. This was hard for students at first. I think as adults we don’t realize how many keys we need to press to write complete sentences but it is a lot to remember. Even just the logging into their Google account has gotten so much better. Students are now more aware of the keyboard and the keys they need to press in order to get their message across. It has been rewarding to watch,
I’m most interested in how this will change typing classes during our district’s technology time.
In all honesty this has been one of the hardest things during this pilot. I think, and to no fault of our own, we automatically assume we can give student multiple step directions when dealing with technology and they will figure it all out the first time. With that being said though, I do feel like there are students who can rock that out the first time perfectly. However, in order for this to be successful in any building we have to apply best practices and the gradual release of responsibility. It will take more modeling and guided practice at first. I think a big part of this difficulty lies in the fact that this pilot started in the middle of the year or at a point where I am starting to pull back in terms of how much I help. I encourage students to use their resources and solve their problems on their own. However, with these devices being new I have had to step in and help but then I don’t help with other things we have been doing all year. That back and forth I think has caused some confusion for both the students and myself. We had to adjust expectations and find a balance that we both could live with.
When going 1:1 we as teacher’s have to be open to a learning curve. We have to be willing to try something and have it fail. We have to be willing to go through a trial and error process knowing that in the end we will be better off because of it.
On the positive side of problem solving, I LOVE how much our devices have given me more of avenue to practice problem solving. It has led to powerful conversations on saving progress, what to do when the internet being down, what to do when you can’t log in or find something. It also has allowed my students to collaborate and be more open to asking for help. I feel these are HUGE and vital to a child being a successful 21st century learner. My new favorite graphic for sharing with families is the skills and attributes of today’s learner. Going 1:1 has provided me a vehicle in which to foster these skills on a more daily basis.
THROUGH. THE. ROOF. One of their assignment in Canvas (our learning management system) last week was a simile exploration . Thanks to a Twitter Chat, I learned about creating a hyper doc: Simile Exploration Students loved working through this document and creating something at the end. I have seen students using and locating similes more than any other year of teaching. I feel that when students have been using the devices it has allowed for more opportunities to communicate and collaborate with one another which in turn has made them more engaged. They want to use their device and are willing to do whatever it takes to do that. They also all have different needs but the devices have been able to provide with me more opportunities to have students work at their level of understanding. I have been stressing the importance of asking for help and problem solving. There is something so powerful about a peer teaching them how to do something that beats even my best explanation. I feel the doors that are opened and still have yet to be explored, or what will make kids more engaged and willing to embrace being a life long learner.
Overall, each week has gotten better. I still feel overwhelmed at times and frustrated with the fact everything isn’t practically perfect and constantly worried about making sure to not just use technology for technology sake. However, the amount of learning I have done in these 3 weeks is the most I have done all year. I can’t wait to see what my classroom will look like in the fall after these next few months of trying and trying again.