Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Students Begin

Ok, we have learned about the iPad and practiced several apps. We have excelled in some areas and are holding our breath in others. We know there will be issues we didn't foresee, but we are also ready to deal with those issues.

It's 8:30 and the students have arrived. I have set my schedule to follow groups of students around to help as many educators throughout the day as I can. (This is where being a small school has it's advantages) It's go time. The entire Middle School has an all school assembly and then breaks into a modified schedule where they will spend three days learning expectations, procedures etc... Again, this type of thing takes a bit of time at the beginning of they year, but reduces issues all year long.

I sit in the back of the room during the first class of the day. I know most of this class time will be spent on basic procedures that do not include technology, but I need to make sure that when they do discuss and practice technology procedures I am there and available to help ensure things go smoothly. This class runs more smoothly that I could have ever expected. The students had spent some time with their iPads and quickly became familiar with the first app they had to use (class organizer). As I followed students around throughout the day I discovered this to be the case for everything they had to use on their iPads. I could not have asked for a better start to the school year! Now let's talk about the teachers.
Some of the teachers I taught over the summer were sold on the concept of 1 to 1 iPads from the moment I mentioned it. Some....well....not so much. Some were concerned about their own comfort level and skills in using technology. One educator left us two weeks before students started, so one person was new to everything, but she has done an awesome job!

As I followed these students I observed the educators and (as I expected) some asked me to teach the iPad part and some attempted to teach it on their own. In the first case, the educator watched closely and was able to be independent during the next class. In the second, I jumped in when I thought the educator was about to make a mistake or to clarify a concept. In this case, the educator paid close attention and corrected any issues with the next course. I could not be more proud of these educators. They have accepted my ideas, they have held difficult discussions about procedures and they have stepped outside of their individual comfort zones. All of this work has made a world of difference, not only in their ability to teach the students how to use the iPad, but in their demeanor in using the iPad as a teaching tool.

No comments:

Post a Comment