Today I taught two classes how to use the Explain Everything app.
In a thoughtful, logical way that made sense to both them and me.
And when they found the lightsaber laser pointers, I knew I had taught the young padawans well and could let them loose.
But more importantly, I wasn’t exhausted after I taught them the app. I wasn’t stressed out or frustrated. I wasn’t sweating or short of breath or having heart palpitations. It was just a normal day in class.
And I’m sharing this because I cannot underscore what a revelation this was to me at the end of the day, giving them an assignment, teaching them an app and letting them go and not even really thinking twice about it. Last year when I first had the iPads, I was so unsure, such a bundle of nerves, couldn’t really think straight when teaching a new app and I was physically spent on the days I tried.
I often felt like such a colossal failure, and that the opportunity to have iPads was wasted on me and I should have just given them back after the first day. But every semester, I’ve learned more about how to best utilize the iPads in class, I’ve learned how to separate the flashy apps form the functional apps, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to take an extra day if the kids are engaged and working–because even though we don’t assess skills like creating and troubleshooting, those are two skills they’ll need once they graduate, and producing content on an iPad allows them to stretch both their creativity and their troubleshooting abilities.
So I’m just putting this out there to anyone implementing any new technology in their classroom, that if you ever feel overwhelmed, well, first of all, you’re so not alone.
And second, one day, you won’t even realize just how easy it’s become.