Day 54 (of 186) T(ec)hursday enhances by @cuebc #cuebc #t(ec)hursday
We are half way though our loaner period with the @cuebc 12 pack of iPads and Spheros “loaner pack” and I’m starting to dread sending them back.
One of the key “attractions” is definitely the use of spheros. A great differentiation device. Users can start using the robots as remote control devices and then “level up” by creating code for the robots to respond to:
I found this a great way to introduce “badges” to the students as part of “gamification” – earn badges for what you can authentically do and prepare to “level up” when things are easy or accomplished. This works nicely with eportfolios because it is more about accomplishing an objective (which can be done in very personalized ways) as opposed to how a task was completed (usually with one expected answer) – often compared to others in the class…
The “bonus part” has been that essentially I have had a 1:1 classroom with tech in about a decade! And it has allowed the expected:
Differentiation: students using speech to text features on their iPads and seeing that their printed fonts are as neat and easy to read as everybody else’s. the focus shifts away from messy/beat to the content and organization of the writing!
Collaboration: students sharing what they have learned with each other – in coding for sure but also as we have explored GarageBand – when the focus is on projects and standards/outcomes the attention shifts away from completions for high scores and %s
But that doesn’t mean “group work” – it means working as a group as/when needed – to steal ideas from each other and improve on them and then have your ideas stolen as well! Asynchronous group time – work with people who are experts in one area and teach others something you are an expert at!
Inquiry – with learners at different levels of readiness, we have been able to explore student inquiry on a range of ways: from some structured inquiry (how to get to specific apps) to controller inquiry (how to use voice to text) to guided inquiry (SOLEs – self organized learning environments) and free inquiry (genius hour)
BYOD discussions: students have asked if they can bring their own device to do our various work – but always with a key rule for tech in class: took or toy. Toys distract learning while tools enhance learning. And we want tech to make learning better and better!
Sidebar: having just finished Ready Player One, I wonder if Ernest Clines vision for how schools may evolve in a virtual reality format may come to reality….plug in and work in a virtual space – accessing any resource you want and field trips would be so much better!
Screen time: along with wifi exposure, there are always considerations to be thinking about when using tech. I always defer back to the importance of creating over consuming – making things – (even virtually) engages the brain better than when we just consume info and data. And I’ve been part of installing wifi hubs for a dozen years and keep on top of the research and I’m more nervous of the lighting tubes in schools than I am of wifi hubs.
I have to admit that I have been trying to get iPads into my classroom and it’s been tough fighting “single platform loyalists” and departments who think they know better even though they haven’t worked with mobile devices with students – mobile devices in the classroom (or alternative spaces depending on noise levels) is significantly more meaningful than going to the lab (transitions always lead to complications). Wonder if I can “forget” to return the devices back to CUEBC…..but then that would deprive another class/teacher/school from this amazing opportunity! It even motivated my classroom neighbor to explore ozobots and some other coding programs because of the availability of the iPad minis (still my number one tech tool)
Thank you CUEBC and to other districts and schools: iPads make for great 1:1 tools – and while people extoll the value of sharing the device….try having learners share pencils. You can do it, but one pencil per student is always a better plan!