Yes, but what are they actually doing? (with the laptops!)

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Easter break is a good time to take stock. I’ve been thinking a lot about how engaging my lessons actually are with laptops. As this is my first term with the laptops there have been some management issues and I am working out how to shift my teaching practice. I’m missing team work a lot and trying to work out ways to get kids collaborating. I’ve also noticed that kids stop getting their laptops out or using them if there isn’t a clear reason for doing whatever it is we are doing with a laptop. We have just started using Moodle as well so my time has been divided between playing with Moodle and working out how to set up our courses and planning lessons that use the laptops in a constructivist way.

I spent some time today going back over the DER resources and thinking about how I might use them in Term 2. I love the movie trailer idea and plan to get kids to create a movie trailer for a section of the novel we will be reading. I’m also thinking about getting them to create a video blog for the main character. One resource I’ve found that opens up a few ideas is LiveBinders.  In the last unit I created a LiveBinder on ‘Social networking’ with sites that commented on the impact on social networking for teenagers.  Students had to look at the site and respond to the question: Should we be worried about social networking?  This worked well for some students. Others had difficulty scanning and locating information and it might have worked better with a ‘shared’ focus.

I’ve also been reviewing a few ideas I had collected some time ago. Jamie McKenzie’s The Question Mark has some useful ideas about asking the bigger questions and creating slam dunk digital lessons. Lots of browsing time this holidays.

About lyntiernan

I teach kids. Mostly English but sometimes good manners, how to have fun learning, that you are never too old to learn something new, that we all make mistakes and what we do about mistakes is who we become, that the future is not some place we are going to but a place we are creating and... I like learning and adapting new technology in the classroom I'm good with my new IWB, websites and email but hopeless with mobile phones!

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