Friday, January 17, 2014

Reflecting on Then and Now

My students have had their Chromebooks for nine days. Although they were already accustomed to using the Chromebooks in my classroom, somehow it has become an entirely different experience since going 1:1. Now the device is theirs.

In the first couple of days, all students wanted to do on the Chromebooks were the same two activities: customize the wallpaper and play online games. So, after a little bit of thought, I decided to let them. I figured they needed to get it out of their system.

After a few more days had passed, the Chromebooks were no longer viewed as a shiny new toy. Students started coming to my class asking if I would post homework through a site called Teacher.io, which integrates with an app appropriately name "myhomeworkapp." Usually teachers beg students to use an assignment notebook, so I got a kick out of listening to the students beg me to use the app with them. I love how organically this all occurred, but I knew my students needed to begin viewing their device as more than just a homework organizer.

By the end of this week, something changed. The learning began outshining the device, because the device was helping students participate in activities that were previously impossible. I've even overheard students recall the days before we went 1:1, and they recognize how different their learning experience has become.

As I reflect on today's classroom as compared to my years of teaching before 1:1, it fascinates me to see how much has changed.

My students used to write in journals with a one-person audience, today they blog for the world.
My students used to collaborate by crowding around one computer screen, today they collaborate using online tools such as Diigo and Google docs.
My students used to brainstorm by raising their hands until I called on them and wrote their ideas on the board, today they collaborate in real-time on sites like Padlet and everyone is involved.
My students used to take paper and pencil assessments that sat in a filing cabinet once they were graded, today every assessment is given online so that I access student data at any time.
My students used to watch videos as a full class while furiously scribbling notes, today they watch videos online at their own pace, stopping whenever necessary to take down something of importance.

Amazing how much can change with one little device and this is only the beginning. If you are using 1:1 devices with your students, what changes are you noticing in your classroom?


1 comment:

Chase McCulloch said...

Love it! Kids love working together. I remember when it was like pulling teeth to get kids to free write about anything they want. Now, it is a preferred activity and I have to tell them they can't free write!