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04 Dec 2014

Preparing for 1:1 - Part 1

I’ve been ready and excited to teach in a 1:1 environment for a long time. I am very blessed to be able to be on the forefront of Shakopee’s 1:1 rollout at Pearson 6th Grade Center. After teaching for two full months with a classroom full of iPad-wielding students, I would like to share some of my experiences that prepared me for this year in order to help others prepare and feel comfortable.

 

Each week, I will post on the following topics:

A Shift in Perspective - Part 1

Before Going 1:1 - Part 2

Learning Environment - Part 3

Classroom Management - Part 4

Start Simple - Part 5

Plan Your Workflow - Part 6

Creation Over Consumption - Part 7

Changing the Audience - Part 8

The Digital Natives Myth - Part 9

 

A Shift in Perspective

Perhaps the biggest shift for many teachers isn’t that there is technology in the classroom. It has to do with giving up some control of your classroom to students. I am not referring to the classroom management type of control, but the control of where information is coming from and the tasks students are being asked to do. Who is doing most of the talking? Where are students obtaining most of their knowledge from? Who is asking the questions? If the answer is the teacher, then we may have a problem. If each student has an Internet-enabled device, they should be given a goal (or better yet, construct it themselves), work towards an authentic task, and publicly show their results. Get comfortable being the guide on the side rather than the sage on the stage. It allows you to connect with students more personally and help understand their thinking as they work towards their goals.

 

To quote the brilliant Scott McLeod:

“When we treat students as passive recipients of teacher-directed integration rather than tapping into their technology-related interests, knowledge, and skills, we send the message that they don’t have anything to contribute to their own learning experiences. And that control is more important than empowerment.”


One of the first questions I get from other teachers is, “Do I need to use iPads in my lessons every day?” The simple answer is no. No one, including the Digital Learning Coaches, is going to insist that every lesson should involve the use of technology. Use it when it makes sense. Consider having iPads in your class as an opportunity, rather than a new planning burden. No more need to book computer labs months ahead of time! You now can do things that you could not have done before and you’ll be able to get all your students involved and engaged in learning. This shift in perspective will allow you to view 1:1 as a revolution rather than a burden for your teaching and planning.

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