Saturday, November 2, 2013

Give your student an iPad and YOU might learn something new!

So above is a photo of a typical day in my 9th grade Honors Geometry math class. From the first day my freshmen were given their iPads all I see from the front of the room is propped open little grey Otter Boxes. And there folks is the problem!  I have been standing in the front of the room too much.  Let me explain.....

This past week I happen to walk to the back of the room and glance at a student's iPad while the kids were working on some problems.  Immediately I saw colorful buttons and quickly assume the student was not on task.  A quick glance at her neighbor's iPad screen showed the same colorful banner across the top of the screen.  Before saying anything I walked around the room and discovered the majority of the kids had this colorful banner superimposed on their textbook pages.  Little did I know from my vantage point, in the front of the room, that my students had been taking screen shots of their textbook pages in DropBox and then opening them in Educreations.  Educreations, a powerful recordable whiteboard app, was allowing my students to technically "draw" on the screenshots of their textbooks.   I of course have modeled this technique up at my Smartboard but having the kids do that technique at their desks is way more powerful.  They can take the givens of the proof, mark up and dissect the figure, and then decide how to proceed writing out the "if .., then" statement/reason proof.  A more interactive and hands on approach than simply copying something from the board. I love it and I couldn't believe I didn't know this was happening in my own classroom.

I learned two important lessons that day.
1) move around when teaching.  You will be amazed to see what is really going on in your classroom.
2) be open and ready at any moment to learn form your students.

I know I have a lot left to learn.

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