To celebrate my fifteenth year of teaching, I am making an enormous effort to boost my one-on-one time with students. Working in a predominantly project based environment (as I have designed it to be,) I know the students can get loads of work done without me looking over their shoulder. I also realize that taking the time to spend three to five minutes with every student, almost every day can have a monumental impact on how far they go in absorbing class content and beyond. To help me along my journey, I am bringing my only iPad and a host of on-board tools.
I am currently collecting data from several of these interactions. Using a classroom management system, in my case Edmodo, I attach comments to assignments, scores, and grades on the fly. I can also use other apps to collect notes and data that I don't want to share immediately with students. Using the iPad in this manner allows me to be in contact with students directly, collect information on student progress, and evaluate individuals, the class progress, and my own performance at any point in time.
While I don't always want to be typing notes, I am finding that doing so is like flexing a new muscle. The more I stick with bringing my iPad around the room, the more frequently I have something to say to myself or to a student in comment form. These notes can be feedback, hints, links to websites, informal evaluations, or any other number of data collection and sharing I wish to do.
Having owned an iPad for well over a year now, I am glad to finally be bringing this technology to life in my classroom.
Next week...I will look at the struggles one teacher faces as she attempts to integrate a small number of iPads into her class to study the election.