Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Here is how students use and benefit from laptops in the classroom.
First week of school. Second year teaching this group of students. Third year they have used laptops in the classroom.
One of my students knew that she would be absent and knew that the day's class period was time for working on a paper with a partner. So, she made arrangements. First, she talked with her partner to coordinate getting the work done. Then, she emailed me to let me know that she would be absent and that she had communicated with her partner.
During 8th period that day, all students were working on separate Google Docs to write scripts. My absent student was also working on the Google Doc with her partner and using the chat function to clarify directions and plan together.
Here is a screen shot that I took from my computer. I could watch them talking to each other and interject my own pointers along the way.
Why was this so seamless? The students were familiar with the applications used. They had experience using Google Docs and understood how to use it for their own purposes. These were also highly independent students. They did not wait for me to remind them how to use this online tool to their advantage, but instead took charge of the learning situation for themselves.
It brings a little tear to my eye when I see that ultimately my students don't need me. They can function and excel in this brave new 21st Century world just fine on their own!