Week 5: The Technology Rich Classroom

Welcome to Week 5!

By now you should have:

  • read and completed all readings in “Week 4″ in Course 4 under “My Courses
  • written 4 blog posts and 4 comments
  • recorded the URL of the post and comments you would like assessed as part of COETAIL on your grading spreadsheet in the Course 4 tab
  • had a read through of the final project for Course 4 – again, different from previous courses, this one is designed to help you start thinking about your Course 5 project (coming up soon!)

The Technology Rich Classroom

Many of us are working in 1:1 schools (actually, last week, we began our trial of a 2:1 learning environment at YIS – iPad Mini + MacBook Air 11″ for all grade 7 students at YIS- if this goes well, we’ll continue next year). We are (or are becoming) comfortable with students having at least one device in the classroom, and we know we can use those devices to enhance the learning that happens both in the classroom and outside. However, working in these environments does require some different kinds of thinking about the way we manage time, distractions and use of devices.

At YIS, we have a shared set of expectations for all students in our Connected Learning Community (1:1 program), which work really well for us. The key being that we model some specific behaviors related to balance (no laptops at break or lunch, except in designated supervised workrooms), and that we continue to revisit and revise our strategies based on what students and teachers need.

In order to help our families develop those skills as well, we facilitate a monthly Parent Technology Coffee Morning for those parents. One of the most commonly requested sessions is one on managing distractions and maintaining balance. We often recommend that parents mirror our classroom at home – one of my favorites is the idea of a tech break. This session has become so popular that I’ve created a whole resource wiki for parents at YIS and other schools.

This list of strategies and practices that works for YIS, might not work at your school – every community is different. What kinds of strategies are working well in your classroom? Does your school have expectations as a whole? What’s working well?


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