Students are now comfortable with using the technology to enhance their learning. They are finding different ways to stay engaged without my direct instruction. So why the woes? The woes are coming from me dealing with multiple approaches. You would think this a great thing and I actually do think its great. The real struggle is how to encourage those sitting right next to each other to defend their approach as 1)okay to be different, and 2) correct in their thinking. Since we still have most students believing since their is only one right answer then there must only be one right way to get there. WE all know this is untrue so my woe is how do I let students know that is okay to approach it differently?
As I continue my paperless classroom journey, like all things, each aspect of the environment are getting easier with time. Students are understanding the need to be more accountable. Teachers that I'm demonstrating to are seeing the benefits of asking students to be more accountable. And for the most part, my job is getting easier. I am implementing feedback without having to look at 150+ pieces of paper. I can formatively assess students and re-direct instructions based on students' needs. My new goals include trying to learn is how to group students better and get those groups to work together better. My current goals (providing feedback and sharing work) have been way more successful than I had anticipated. My decision to dive into the 21st century full throttle has no regrets. Not yet anyway.
It is as simple as "Can I go to the bathroom?" And my reply is, "Not sure, can you?"
Asking the right question is crucial. I find that when students are starting getting better and i"m slowly getting worse. Since basic answers can be found as quickly as saying, "Siri, what's the formula for the Pythagorean theorem?" There has to be better way to get students thinking. We can certainly ask google or Siri to give us the formula or answer but definitely not how to apply it to something contextual or even use it to design something different.
"How can I ask better questions?" As technology gets faster I feel my job now has changed. I'm not here to compute and repeat. I'm here to faciltate learning. In order to do that I need good questions to drive that learning, and that is where I"m struggling.
To be continued...
Am I taking this phrase too literal? One of my goals this year was to provide more feedback (instant feedback) to students to allow them to watch their progress. What happens when their progress is not progress at all? Using the information to change my instruction I can do, but when the change still doesn't produce results then I"m at a loss.
Failing and trying again is not just hard for students but also hard for adults. As adults we see failure as growth but only if that failure does not occur many times. I am hoping to utilize my attempt in giving feedback and not succeeding as another opportunity to change my instruction. This is challenge that I must face head on and don't know how or what this will look like but I am willing to give this another try.
GAFE (google apps for education) and all the other technology (TI-Nspire, chromebooks, computer labs, BYOD) we've used in the past months is really great. I think a plethora of technology is an understatement. There is so much we can do, find, discover. However, the distractions, distractions, distractions! How do I redirect, cope and get students to change their mindset so that they can learn. They certainly can search on youtube and shop on amazon for shoes and jump to their device to post on their snapchat storyboard but what about the math?? What about the math? Not interested; they are not interested in the 1 of many things that I am so passionate about. I wish I could just tap into every student's passion simultaneously and get them to think about how to "math" that passion on their technology for 20, 10, even 5 minutes. 5 minutes and I'll feel like we are making progress. 5 minutes.