Monday, April 07, 2014

It's Not about the Device

As a culminating project for my students' self-selected lit circles, they all made book trailers using iMovie on the iPads that we borrowed from our LMC. Someone asked me, "Why didn't you have the students use their Chromebooks for the final project?" Interesting question. While yes, we are in the midst of a 1:1 Chromebook pilot, that does not mean that Chromebooks will work for us 100% of the time.

Think about yourself for a minute. How many devices do you use on a weekly, daily, maybe even hourly basis? For me, I use a laptop or Chromebook for lots of web-based applications, an iPad for larger projects that require multimedia apps, and an iPhone for just about everything else. If I were limited to using just a Chromebook, I'd be without a camera, photo album, day planner, ...the list could go on! So, how can we limit our kids to just one device?

The fact is that 1:1 is not about which device. It's about having a device. In today's classroom environment, the chosen device, whichever it is for the moment, should foster the four C's of 21st century learning: creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration. For my students' book trailer projects, they worked creatively and collaboratively using iPads, yet a lot of their planning and critical thinking was done using a Chromebook. And when it came time to communicate their final projects with each other, the device was obsolete, thanks to Google Drive and YouTube.

As you can see below, iPads are a powerful tool for the students to create their own book trailers. I think you will be impressed by the performances of these sixth grade students!

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