As many of you know, our 9th grade students will be receiving Chromebooks on January 24th and 25th as part of the district’s ongoing 1:1 initiative. In preparation for this event, the Digital Learning Team will not only continue to support teacher experiences with the 1:1 program, but we will also provide support through instructional coaching and the use of digital tools as well as offering Tech buzz Professional Development in relation to these devices and Personalized Learning. We would also like to take this opportunity to discuss the influence this will have on the classroom environment and recommend some tips and tricks in order to help maintain and promote efficient classroom management.
Although you may be familiar with Chromebooks in the classroom already through the use of carts or the library, once the students have their own devices, you may want to take the time to remind them of the acceptable use policy. This will set the tone in regards to teacher expectations of device use in the classroom. Once a well defined classroom policy and procedure have been established, it will help with managing the student’s accountability more consistently and lower the risk of misuse because they will know what is expected of them and more importantly, they will know the consequences if misuse occurs. Policies can range from which websites students are allowed to use during class to making sure their devices are ready for class use (ie. batteries are fully charged). Whatever the rules are, teachers should write them with the intention of enforcing them. Consistency with the rules will foster good student device practices.
Movement is another strategy teachers can utilize to help support and sustain student accountability. Circulating around the classroom or work area enables the teacher to better monitor their students when using their devices and it will often keep them on task as they know they are being observed at any time. When students are working with their devices in groups, try to cluster the desks together in a way where their screens are always facing out and not to a wall. This will allow teachers to monitor the device screens more conveniently as they are moving around.
When it comes to devices in the classroom, I think Julie Davis says it best, “Being a strict disciplinarian regarding technology does not mean you aren't a fun or good teacher. It means that expectations are there. Be honest with your students, discuss with them why you have the rules you have. Have them dialogue with you about ways that might help them be less distracted. Remember that you have a responsibility for teaching them good digital citizenship skills. Every moment is a teachable moment, every teacher should be teaching their students how to harness and expand the power in their hands in productive ways (Davis, 2015).”
If you would like more information in regards to strategies for a 1:1 environment, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Digital Learning Team.
Davis, Julie. “Classroom Management Tips for the Technology Rich Classroom.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 19 Feb. 2015, www.edutopia.org/discussion/classroom-management-tips-technology-rich-classroom.