“An outstanding teacher is not replaced with technology. An outstanding teacher replaces outdated resources with an appropriate use of technology.” – Me
“Man, my kids didn’t do too hot on the science test,” I thought as I sat quietly hating myself on my living room couch. Thoughts flashed through my mind. What could I have done to help my students be more successful on this assessment. We had built circuits, tested conductors and insulators, and even started creating parallel and series circuits. All while recording our experiments and thoughts on our iPads.
“Maybe, I should have assigned more ‘booklet’ or workbook pages before the assessment.” I stifled the thought as fast as I could knowing that worksheets and boring review pages have never truly tapped into a student’s thinking or interests. Then, I thought back to the beginning of the year and how mini-booklets, graphic organizers, and workbook pages had been replaced by iPad projects such as iMovies and keynotes.
On the top of our unit study guides one will find a list of references to aide a student while studying for a large unit test, but what if all of these resources are out of date? Instead of completing a long list of worksheets and review papers, my class creates projects and sadly they can’t take their iPads home with them to review.
What to do?
When you find yourself reaching for the comfort zone of district provided and some-what mandated worksheets, workbooks, and basil resources, have a bowl of ice cream or better yet a glass of wine. Sit back, enjoy a treat, and reflect on your beliefs as a teacher. What allows students to learn best? Things manufactured for the masses or lessons and products that support individual thought and creation.
I once used iPads as a way for students to complete worksheets. They downloaded a file from my student wiki page, opened the page in Good Notes, completed it, and returned the finished product via Box. This is not using iPads creatively. Don’t believe simply because your class uses iPads that your implementing them in the most effective way. iPads can be use as worksheets too.
Not sure where to begin? Think, what graphic organizer can I allow students to create in Pic Collage. Allow them to add or find the facts independently, and share with the group.
Do a jigsaw! Separate your class into 4 groups and have them research four different topics you are learning about in science class. Then, each student becomes responsible for teaching that topic to three other partners.
If you can dream it, I promise your kids can do it!