We spent our Friday afternoon discussing our new AUP, Classroom Management, and Learning & Assessments. We utilized small group discussions with teachers facilitating the discussions. We also had a number of teachers using Today’s Meet to record comments and questions as the groups discussed their given topics.
Today’s Meet allowed us to export the entire session as a PDF, and then I could use Google Docs as I organized all of these questions and comments into a single document that we can share with the teachers for future reference. When certain Apps or programs were mentioned, I included links in the document so the teachers can easily get more information. Where there were questions or uncertainties, I included links to Blog posts, links to websites & YouTube videos that can help clarify this information for the teachers.
We knew we would see some crossover on topics and questions between all 3 groups, but this allowed the teachers to see this for themselves – especially the teachers who are still hesitant about moving forward with our 1:1 initiative.
Digital Citizenship has been a key concern as we move into our first year of 1:1 iPads. We are currently planning our summer schedule for sessions on digital citizenship, but the key to this will be teaching Digital Citizenship across the curriculum and throughout the school year. We can do events and presentations, but that doesn’t carry as much weight as all of our teachers working towards good digital citizenship on a consistent basis.
The most positive part of our Inservice was the sharing of information regarding management, learning and assessment, and policies. Teachers who tend to lead the way with technology usage were able to give some great examples of Apps and other resources which will not only help make the transition to 1:1 learning easier, these resources opened many teachers’ eyes as to what it possible with the use of iPads in the classroom.
A recurring theme of the day was “Engage the Students” (see Image above).
There is no question that we are handing students a device that can cause many different forms of distraction. We are also handing them a device which gives them unlimited resources from which they can learn. The key to keeping students on the correct side of the fence (Distraction/Learning) is keeping them engaged in the learning process. Utilizing the iPad and the vast array of resources can assist students in reviewing material and/or moving towards a deeper understanding of the material.
Much of the other conversation centered around classroom policies and how things are going to change. The easiest solution to this is – Look at your classroom policies now, and ask yourself – “What needs to stay the same, and what needs to change?” Control of the iPads is quite simple. Put them away when they aren’t being used, and make yourself mobile in the classroom when they are being used. Make sure you teach good digital citizenship and you constantly reenforce it.