It’s been a month with the iPads, and I’m not exactly where I thought I’d be. Part of me wonders if I tried to do too much too fast, using them with all my classes. My room isn’t the technological utopia I dreamed of in December.
I’m still sorting everything out as far as what “workflow” looks like when four students are sharing an iPad across four classes. And some of that might change in another month when all of my classes will write papers on the iPads.
It’s so very easy for me to focus on all the different ways I feel like I’m failing (or, if not failing, falling short), so this week, each day, I’m going to share some comments from my 4th hour class about how they felt after using the iPads for 2 weeks.
“I enjoy having Internet access and great programs like professor word. It is also convenient to be able to go to the class website whenever necessary and save paper by reading articles online. I find it beneficial to practice sentences by putting it up on Apple TV for immediate feedback. The only disadvantage is the length of time it takes to get used to using and iPad. With paper and pencil, I can easily get papers done, but it’s more difficult and time consuming on the iPad.”
The rest of the week in this class, we will be doing more with “public writing.” I also like the possibilities of collaborative learning, without the clunky “old school” way that involved me (or them) writing their sentences on the board. Time consuming and only allowed for 2-3 students’ work to be critiqued.
“Instead of taking several minutes passing out various papers, using the iPads saves that time and allows it to actually be spent learning. I’ve noticed that since we’ve started using the iPads, the lessons are getting done in less time, with a much easier and natural “flow”. What I am concerned about is how using the iPads will affect writing essays, especially for over thinking and slow writers like me.”
I actually lovelovelovelovelove this element of using the iPads. So much of what my students read can be found online. I had a moment of panic today when I looked at where I usually store my copies and saw none. Then I remembered all my “copies” were either PDFs or linked.
“I have not I countered any disadvantages with using the iPad. I think it’s a great tool which has been properly used to not only save paper but to allow us to learn more about the technology that is available to us. Until three weeks ago I had never used Evernote and now I use it all the time, it’s great. I love being able to search up the definitions to words in an article while we are reading.”
This comment makes my heart happy, because I introduced Evernote on day 2 and I haven’t done a whole lot of follow-up with it. I also love that this comment (and many others) identifies defining words as an advantage of reading on the iPads.
When I first started teaching, I used to take a “class pulse” every six weeks, just to check in and see how things were going. I haven’t done that in years. Reading through these student comments reminds me how valuable student feedback can be.