Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tool # 8: Taking a look at the tools

List two to three things you learned about the device(s) that will be in your classroom this fall.
I do not yet know what devices I will be receiving. I am not scheduled to receive any devices this year, and there in no information yet about what might arrive next school year. Assuming that I will eventually get Dell 2120 Netbooks and IPads, I learned that the netbooks have a camera capable of video or still photography, and Internet-based interaction such as Skype. I can begin tentative plans for incorporating this capacity into next year's lessons. I learned that log in will be faster if every student has previously logged on to each device. Slow log in is a problem with the laptop computers currently available in my classroom. I will explore using this strategy with my older equipment. I learned that each teacher will have a great deal of freedom and responsibility for managing the classroom set of IPads. This will give me more flexibility, but will also require time. As I add new use of technology, I will also need to eliminate activities and strategies that I have used successfully in previous years. This will take courage, giving up the old for the new.

How do you plan to manage the device(s) in your classroom? Do you have ideas/suggestions that others may find useful?
I plan to follow the suggested strategy of identifying students who already have IPad and netbook skills, and asking them to volunteer to be student-technicians and tutors. Even though many students already have IPad experience, classrroom use will be different than the recreational use. The initial lessons will cover basic expectations for appropriate classroom use, and basic operations. Students who have less proficincy will then be partnered with the previously identified student-experts. Security will be a concern with these small, portable devices. I will have students assisting with setting up the devices at the beginning of each period, and securing the devices at the end of each period.

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