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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Here we go technology!

Today was the first day I incorporated technology into an assignment with my students. I've used a lot of these things before (QR codes, polls, etc.). But it's always interesting to see what things you have to fix the first time through and how your students respond.
Our assignment had to do with the discussion of "Dystopia" and The Hunger Games. Besides discussing the term and its connection to the novel I also wanted them to also read an article written about why teens are fascinated with the genre and  look at an info graphic about its connection to historical events. I created QR codes for this assignment to link the to the webpage for both. So here is how it went!

Assignment 1 - Class 1- One of my QR code wasn't working in my first class. Panic right!?! It's that sinking feeling when you've spent time putting something together and it doesn't work. Well thanks to the iPad I could instantly,while walking around the room, grab the link from Diigo and put it on my edmodo page! Problem solved! To be honest besides the novelty of scanning the code, it would have worked better to just have the assignment and links on edmodo from the beginning. I had my students get in groups, so in some groups everyone had a device and could use it while others adapted by reading the article aloud or passing the phone around for the info graphic.

On my iPad I also used Notability to jot some notes down about how each class handled their group assignment and what I would like to adjust for next time. Very handy when you feel overloaded at the end of the day and can't remember!

I finally used to ask my students a question about their ability to access and annotate the short story they had to read for homework from a device. The students were able to text in their response without disruption to the group discussion, and I could immediately see how many people would need copies for tonight. In my first class 100% are choosing to read on a device (we will see how that works tomorrow maybe an Assignment 1-Part II)

Assignment 1- Class 2 and 3- I noticed the closer it got to the middle of the day the more time it took for the students' devices to load the information. Good to know. There also became a larger discrepancy between the students who did and did not have devices.

Assignment 1 -Class 4 and 5- I wasn't sure how to adapt this activity for my regular classes. Yes they can handle the same questions, but sometimes need more guidance getting to the answer. For those classes we took each question one at a time. I let them work in groups and then we shared answers. I was really surprised by how well read (and primarily the boys) my 6th period is. We had great discussions about other books in the same category they had read and wanted to read. They really blew me away! However, by the time I got to my last class only a few students had a device to use. I let one group borrow my iPad and the other read the article from my computer. We looked at the infographic together. They really weren't as interested or engaged. That's to be expected by the end of the day, but I am going to have to work on figuring out what motivates them because impressing the teacher really isn't it!

I am trying to be more reflective (one of my yearly goals- maybe I'll blog about that soon).You never know until you really get into it what you can and cannot do. I quickly realized that what some classes can handle and what they can thrive in won't be the same for another. Great lessons learned!

1 comment:

  1. Great job! I added you to the Engaged Learning Initiative blog in the related blog section. You have a lot to share!