Tablets Course | M1 Classroom Issues
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Tablets Course | M1 Classroom Issues

One of the biggest worries for teachers is dealing
with the behaviour of students. What happens if a student accesses a website or social
media whilst they are in lesson? These types of things need school rules, classroom
rules and teacher expectations. For example, it’s no good the teacher telling the students
to share their ideas on social media, if the school rules don’t allow students to use
social media. It’s a good idea to set some ground rules with the students together. If
you are using devices with different age groups you might find it helpful to have a student
group or student council meeting to do this. One of the phrases that schools often use
with students is that the tablets should be used “for learning”. If students are not
using the devices for learning then that will be breaking the rules. One of the other challenges for teachers is
the layout of the classroom. Not every classroom can be changed, but equally, using tablets
in “rows” won’t explore the full potential of these mobile devices. One of the best ways
to do this is to ask the students to use their devices outside the classroom, in a different
space. E.g. a visit to a local interest space, a
walk in a nearby park However at some point you will be back in
your classroom for your lessons and this is where the CCL scenario planning process can
help you think about the layout of your room. This will be explained more in module 2. If
you try the scenario on collaboration – you have to think about how the students can work
together. For some teachers it can be more complex if
you have to move rooms to different groups of students across the timetable of the day.
If this is the case, you might find it is helpful to identify particular learning spaces
in school which can be adapted for using the tablet devices. This is where a pilot implementation
programme can really help because you can give the students different classroom layouts
and see how they like to work best by asking them for their feedback. One of the other areas that teachers often
notice when using tablets with students is their own position in the class changes; this
is particularly the case where teachers have got into the habit of standing at the front
delivering the content with a didactic approach. The introduction of tablets can suddenly leave
the teacher thinking that the students are all engaged in their task and “busy” and
the teacher thinks it is enough just to walk around the room and see the students working
or “researching information.” This is where it is absolutely crucial that the tasks
that the students have been asked to do are appropriate to their learning outcomes and
formative assessment of the individual student progress is taking place – otherwise the
teacher can end up with very little evidence at the end of the lesson. The scenario development
process that we adopted during the creative classrooms lab project helps the teacher to
identify the outputs for the different phases. For example, if the ultimate goal of the scenario
is to produce a video, there are many different phases along the way dream, map explore and
each one of these should involve different tasks which require individual student outputs
and assessment– storyboarding, role play, learning about the context – it might be
set in a particular place or period of history. It’s not just about the video. It therefore
becomes the teacher’s role to plan an overview of the tasks, and guide the students through
the different phases. As you become more confident, one of the things
that a number of the CCL teachers have identified is the “independence” of the students
and this means that you can begin to let them make some decisions about which apps they
choose to create particular lesson outputs and indeed, let them decide about what they
will create. The big worry for most teachers is the examination
– if they use the tablet – will they still pass their tests? Of course, there is no definitive
answer to this. What CCL teachers have realised is that taking time to plan for the use of
tablets, identifying the most relevant areas of the school curriculum and integrating the
tablets alongside other resources is an ongoing process. It really is about finding out what
works best with your students and trying different approaches. Finally, I have one last perhaps slightly
unusual request. At present we have educationalists from countries from all over the world joining
in with the MOOC, I’d love to receive a traditional postcard from you in your country to add to
my collection from the different places, and to hear about how you’re getting on with the
implementation of tablets. You can write to me at the address shown on screen.

About James Carlton

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