Friday, November 11th, 2011…
What better day to BRING HOME THE LAPTOPS FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!!
My grade 5 studets were over-the-moon excited Friday afternoon as they packed up their ASUS notebooks to take home for the weekend. We are working with the students on the ins and outs of doing this (safety, use and best pratices) and are hopeful they will refer to their User Agreement as they unpack their laptops this weekend. But moreover, I too am thrilled that we have reached this point!
Students were asked to choose one academic or educational application to do and share with a family member first.
This might be any program we’ve so far this year and could include programs such as Storybird (science “energy” stories), TenMarks Math, Bitstrips, Voki, etc. They may also choose to create a blog post on our class blog via the school webpage.
students are permitted to use their laptop for entertainment purposes. (Now, let’s be honest. How many parents or adults get a little pit in their stomach when they read this?)
Entertainment purposes have not been emphasized in our school setting. This might be due to their age, the nature of my shared-classroom assignment, or because they are engaged with academics. However, some of the first questions I answered were about music, the webcam, social networking and YouTube. And I answer them. So, alongside our User Agreement, we have also implemented strategies for navigating around our technology and the Internet for interest’s sake. What do we do when we find ourselves on a website we think might not be appropriate? Is it safe to download music and movies? What should I do with pictures I take on my integrated webcam?
The work is not done.
And to be honest, if we waited until we discussed ALL of the potential threats of using technology outside of Room 306,
the laptops would never go home.
However, I’m reminded that my students (and parents) know my email address. They don’t WANT to do wrong. They WANT to use their laptops. And above all else, they understand that this technology is a tool for their learning. They can make mistakes. Together we’ll fix them. They are hugely creative. I can’t wait to see what they do with time, tools AND access.
So. Monday will tell a story. I hope we have some great stories to tell on the road to online learning (from home too!)
I, on the other hand, am creating for my Media Specialist course, participating in a ‘Day of Learning” with SimpleK12, collaborating on some research on Twitter, and helping my five-year-old do research on Africa and Christmas songs about “Befwaham”. That’s how I know technology is okay in the home. 😉