1:1 Does Not Equal Always On
This post is part of an ongoing series of chapters from the book CHOICE. Please view this post for an introduction and table of contents. To keep up with each new chapter published, please subscribe.
“I don’t want my student on a screen all class.”
It’s a common criticism from teachers, parents, and the community. A fear that because a student is given a device for learning, it is the only way they will learn.
The argument for technology in the classroom is it being a tool that can do some things better, not everything better. Don’t feel forced to have students do everything on the computer.
Continue to do projects, social interactions, games that get the students moving around. A device is a learning tool, not “the” learning tool.
Start with what you are comfortable with. Don’t scan every one of your worksheets and lesson plans you’ve been using for years in an effort to go digital. This is will lead to frustration and burnout.
Start by looking at what you are currently doing, and what could be moved to digital. What makes sense to you? Start with a couple lessons. Or maybe just start with the class agenda and homework assignments being digital. Start small and let it grow. It will snowball once you get more comfortable.
A great way to start is with resource documents you give to students. Word banks, definitions, the little cheat sheets you give students are a great place to start and makes complete sense to be digital. A digital form of this won’t get lost, won’t get ruined in a backpack, and will stay with the student the entire school year (even their entire education). Digital versions are searchable and open to add an unlimited amount of notes. Digital versions will be easier for students to use and access.
Providing a peak behind the curtain of the thought and writing process.
This has happened in every district I’ve implemented a 1:1 program, at least one teacher goes “all in” with digital tools. They attempt to scan all of their paper based handouts and email them students. This is not the way to go.
Don’t try to make all of your paper resources digital. Some will make sense, some will not. Most will need to be completely recreated for digital. This is why you can’t do it all at once. It's a gradual shift. Both for the teacher, and for the students moving from paper to digital.
If you are a teacher, or work with students, what tools do you use to make your lessons interactive and digital first?