My goals have been my focus lately and with that in mind I’ve been trying to make the most of having devices with a mixture of success and frustration
While it is good the school is offering choices of devices for students to bring in depending on their personal preferences and budget, as a teacher of 50 year 9’s with many different devices, I have to be careful, i keep hitting a range of different difficulties and frustrations.
I can easily see with a lot of teachers how they would stop and not use them, I am trying to keep working on solutions and also working with an extra frustration of have not just device issues but issues with students who aren’t following instructions so a problem will happen later that could have been avoided.
What I have done:
Put notes and work (activities and project outlines) as PDF forms, students can download them and type directly into the spaces.
Problems and my solutions
P - can’t get onto network to download
S - write site into diary and do later in day when can connect or from home
P - can’t save it
S - look through with them (often are clicking view not save, or can’t find the save option)
P - can’t type into boxes (tablet only)
S - wrong application (get adobe reader)
P - can’t find it (next class)
S - save into a folder (create a Science folder to collect and keep ALL science work for the year)
P - it didn’t save (hit this today, big frustration)
S - Evernote not compatible, try Adobe reader.
S - Click a save button!, have to find it!
Students are not 100% able to use devices without guidance and need time and help, laptops and netbooks are much much easier to use and navigate.
Also if the network is down, some students can’t seem to focus on anything else apart from connecting. I am trying to get them to use an alternative in the meantime, or work with someone else, and not to spend the whole lesson trying to get their device to work. It is not an efficient use of their time.
What I have done:
To help with literacy, I have put terms and definitions into Quizlet, and will keep adding new ones as we go through the unit. Students have found the set and have a set of flash cards where they can also do games, such as mix and match, scatter, write the term, speed matching etc etc
So far this is working really well. Students have been racing each other and when they have spare moments or finish an activity early they will do these games, again and again. Trying to improve their scores, etc.
I will keep adding terms and definitions as we do them in class and they will eventually have a whole set (vocab list) for each topic.