iPaddling in the BYOD Classroom
We are on an adventure of sorts this year in Room 204! Along with 20 other teachers and about 500 students in Falmouth, we are piloting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative. Students involved in this pilot will be able to bring their own mobile devices to school, where we will find ways to extend and enhance our learning. As a teacher, I am super excited and a bit nervous – I’m not totally sure what to expect in Grade Three?!?! I’ve decided to create a page on our blog to document our journey this year, to see where it takes us.
Buckle up, folks! It’s going to be quite a ride!
Back in August, all teachers participating in the pilot got together to create a Responsible Use Policy, and to receive our own iPads. I’ve never had one before, so let’s just say I was out-of-my-skin excited! Here I am, sitting with my friend Beth Holland, who came from EdTechTeacher.org to help us that first day. My iPad isn’t even out of the box, and I’m already a grinny girl!!
So, today was the day I felt brave enough to begin. We are fortunate in that 10 iPads were made available to those of us piloting this BYOD program. Along with a few other iPads purchased through grants, I am sometimes able to teach lessons in a 1:1 environment. While we won’t always have 15 iPads available to us, it was a great way to start our lessons in responsibility.
Responsibility? Ummmm….. yeah. I am committed to teaching students the value of these expensive tools, and how important it is to take care of them. It is also critical for my students to use them responsibly, so we can hopefully expand the use of 1:1 devices to more classrooms in the future. Are 3rd graders able to handle all these challenges? I believe wholeheartedly that they will!
Today, I began our unveiling by talking about drivers’ licenses. In order to receive a driver’s license, people must learn about the rules of the road, and figure out how to safely operate a vehicle. Once they are prepared, they take a test that results in a driver’s license. If they violate the rules, they risk the chance of having their license revoked.
So, I first started by showing our coveted iPaddling License:
Then, I brought up our rules for responsible use. I know that teachers try very hard to phrase rules in positive terms, but I felt this is one of those times where a few No rules were appropriate. Hopefully these 6 rules will cover all of the responsibilities we will face, using these brand-new, shared devices!
Mrs. Horton (who is a BYOD teacher in 4th grade!) took these rules and created a quick EDUCreations slideshow. CUTE! You can see it HERE!
Finally, I showed 204 students the list of “tests” they will have to pass to receive their license. We would begin our training today.
At this point, there was nothing left to do, but roll the cart in, and hand them out!
I did so with words of caution spilling out of my mouth at every turn. “Two Hands!” “Careful!” “On your Bottom!!” It was super scary!!
We jumped right in, learning about the Home Button, how to change apps, how to close apps, how to navigate our way around.
We spent about 15 minutes playing a couple of math games – Hungry Fish and Sushi Monster. The students had to figure out how to play, as I hadn’t played enough to teach it. Of course, that was the least of my worries – I had 15 teachers to help me!! Check out their cute photos!!
Next time? We tackle the camera and photos. Someday, I promise we’ll get off the rug….
All I had to do was tell these crazy kids that Tuesday and Thursdays are Tech Days – and now the little stinkers are holding me to that promise!! They mentioned yesterday that “tomorrow is Tech Thursday” and I knew I was doomed!! DOOMED! I had to summon up all of my bravery to start with Phase Next….
So, we spent about 2 hours on iPads today, working on ELA skills and some tech-related skills to lay the groundwork for the months ahead.
Spelling City was the opener – love how I can get kids to (finally) type in my first and last name to pull up all of the lists created *just* for them. They practiced and practiced and practiced…
Then we opened EDUCreations, where we created slides to match our vocabulary lesson. Students had to take a vocab word, and create a slide with a pic, a definition, a sentence and a antonym (or synonym). Four slides later, and they were starting to look like pros!
Part of the iPaddling license test includes capturing images, and then deleting those which are not useful. We remembered to leave behind any photos taken by students in other classes. I talked about how (for now) it is okay to take pics of oneself, but not of others. Instead, students could take pictures of other students’ shoes! They DID! How cute are these??
Once they were settled into the school lab, I had them answer this question:
How will iPads help my learning as a third grader this year??
Student responses are located below!
The lessons continue… We’re getting closer and closer to our iPaddling license test, and I’m seeing some very responsible behavior coupled with lots of learning! I did notice that some students were having a hard time differentiating between the two iPad cameras, so I decided I would name them for easier reference. The camera that faces us is the Face Cam – and at this point, students are only allowed to photograph or video themselves, so the name serves a dual purpose. The camera that faces away from the iPad we named the Doc Cam, as it captures photos like our classroom document camera.
We practiced using both cameras to get the hang of things. We used the Face Cam to record ourselves explaining our iPad rules…
During Writing Workshop. we used our iPads to talk about effective leads, and how authors “hook” us as readers. Students found books with strong beginnings, and using the Doc Cam, they recorded themselves reading the lead and also explaining why it hooked them. In no time flat, I realized we’re going to need headphones, soon. Yikes!
Later on, during Social Studies, we went on a scavenger hunt of sorts. Students had to use Google Earth to find several locations. We weren’t quite ready for screen shots on this first round, but we will do the same lesson again to better document our travels.
Finding Mullen-Hall wasn’t very easy when Mrs. Brooks wouldn’t allow anyone to type in the name of the school. Hee hee! Once students found it, they were very excited to see just how clear the photo was! I can even pick out my white minivan!
All in all, it was another successful day using the iPads. We’re still not at the point where they are just an invisible tool, but I anticipate that will happen after everyone has his or her own iPaddling license and we can individualize learning a bit more.
Licensed to iPaddle!!!
October 9, 2012
Need I say more – they were beyond excited. I literally sat with each student 1:1 to run through the test and talk about importance of our rules and our iPaddling license. I was so impressed, as each student was able to give me specific details about everything we had been learning. What great little experts I have!
The journey continues…. HERE