Coming back from my leave with so many ideas has been both exciting and challenging! Realizing my goals for my students, designing engaging units and ultimately integrating technology into as much of my program as possible promises to be an ongoing balancing act. With a limited numbers of computers, it's all going to depend on providing a mix of online and paper resources, and then opening up all my core time to a variety of tasks. Ideally this will also free me up to work one on one with more students on a wider range of projects. For some reason food analogies keep coming to mind: buffet, smorgasbord, food groups, etc.!
Yesterday marked a breakthrough for our class, and I can now really see how this approach might work. Here is what I wrote on our class blog...
This was a very rewarding day in many respects. This morning we talked about using technology throughout our core periods, sharing equipment and making the most use of our time. Then we tested out our ideas. It was a great success and congratulations to all students in the class for making it happen.
First I taught a brief math lesson, and asked the students to begin the Practice section in the text book. Then one student took a few minutes to go online at my desk to complete her Census at Schools data survey, because she had been absent previously.
Then I asked the students whose names were on the board if any of them felt they could complete their assignments and hand them in the next 20 minutes, before class change. Hands shot into the air. I handed out laptops and within the 20 minutes, 4 people finished, printed and submitted work from English and History and 2 others showed me that they were almost ready.
The rest of the class worked on math and I got to talk to many to answer their questions about “inference” in reading statistics and charts.
The students who used the laptops were asked to complete Questions 1 and 2 in the math text for homework.
We are so lucky to have many tech resources and great tech support at our school. I know this was just one small step, but I hope that as the year goes on, we will see continued integration and sharing of equipment, to help all students learn and achieve to their full potential.