Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Week(s) in Review

Since my last post, several new "things" have been happening in our class and with the students' use of the iPads.  A few are normal transitions in every classroom, a few are progressive in terms of student capabilities, and unfortunately one is simply not desired.

The first is the addition of a few new students and the loss of a few others.  Normally the movement of students tends to cause a fair amount of disruption in terms of new kids gaining skills, "catching up", and  finding a place and balance within the room.  This aspect, fortunately, just doesn't seem to be happening this year.  One new student, having only been in the room for 3 days, has already built two Keynote presentations, created several graphs in Numbers, and used our normal apps of Adobe Ideas, Accelerated Reader, Safari, My Doodle Buddy, Flip It, etc.  Having no past experience with iPads, I was pleasantly surprised at his partner's skill as well as his own in acquiring new knowledge so quickly.

In terms of new apps, I really should keep a list of which apps come and go.  I have seen quite a few music apps appearing lately mostly focused around learning how to play the piano and guitar.  The guitar makes sense as the class as a whole is learning guitar in their general music class but the piano is a bit of a mystery to me.  Several students are still progressing with their Doodle Buddy games and we are starting to see even more development in terms of the planning and background scenery.  Keynote is now second nature to the kids as they have been using Keynote to illustrate grammar concepts using animation to show pronouns, possessive nouns, and how sentences change depending on word choice.

Lastly, the undesirable part of technology.  One thing that teachers, administrators, and students fear is the use of technology in violation of acceptable use, the student who thinks he/she can get away with something.  Unfortunately one student choose last week as the time to see if they could get away with something.  Needless to say, it didn't work and policy entered into the overall occasion.  At this point, there are a lot of folks making the "told you so" type statements, prove that providing access can be dangerous.  Time to ban the technology.  But in response I give this scenario.  Do we ban pencils because one student choose to poke somebody with one?  Or do we treat the behavior.  Do we get rid of chairs because a student leans back a bit to far and falls?  Or do we treat the behavior.  Or, here in Alaska, do we ban recess as one student last week who choose to place their mouth on metal at 15 below zero?  Or do we treat the behavior.

We choose to treat the behavior, have active discussions regarding appropriate use, and make a plan so that we can treat the behavior and provide answers to acceptable and unacceptable use.  Lesson learned, plan made, progress towards the future.

1 comment:

  1. We had a similar situation with student-created web pages in Google. Although at the time it was a HORRIBLE situation to deal with, looking back at how the consequences changed this particular student in a BIG way, I am happy we went through this! As he was presenting his Acceptable Use of Web Pages presentation to our class and his audience (mom and auntie came) everyone was riveted. I totally agree: treat the behavior! Good for you!