Wave, iPods, oh my!

What a whirlwind couple of days here.... all in a very good way.

The battle for wi-fi has begun and I like the conversations and discussions that are being held among my colleagues.  There is general anger and frustration at the lack of any kind of 21st Century technologies in our school as eyes are opened - hopefully all the way up to the Board of Trustees.

Two great things happened, other than that, in the last 24 hours.

One - I've started to get my students into Google Wave.  I had one student who broke his ankle at the beginning of the week, he did his translation assignment in Wave, I marked it up and commented on the few errors for him to correct.  By chance he was on as I was finishing up (only took about 5 minutes) and we had a mini-discussion about Google Wave and the really neat stuff that was going on with it and his homework.  He couldn't believe how useful it was to have feedback given in this manner and he's excited for this summer (when we'll do some extra work with anyone interested) and then next year.  I'm excited, as well.

Two - had a crazy domino effect happen in class today with iPhones/iPod touches.  One student asked if he could take notes on the translation on his Touch instead of writing them down, because he forgot his Latin notebook at home.  I said that anyone was always welcome to use whatever device they wanted to in class as long as the focus was on the task at hand (and not txting, tweeting, solitaire or anything else).  Immediately a good dozen students took out their devices and were focused on both the translation (as we worked on it via the digital projector and the white board) and ensuring that they took good notes on the vocabulary and grammar.

We then had a discussion about downloading the files to the iPods (either through an app like GoodReader) or something similar and how to use that to their advantage when studying (flashcard apps, etc).

I wish I had a camera to capture that moment of transformation among a third of the classroom.

The students want a 21st Century education, we need to stop providing them with a 20th Century one.

1 comment:

  1. I remember in my high school, which I did not graduate from all too long ago, the prospect of bringing a laptop into the classroom was preposterous and seen as a student's way of finding distractions from class (never mind that our wireless network was so flaky we couldn't connect to a decent internet game in class if we wanted to). Even now, as an upperclassmen at a prominent research university (which, much to my chagrin, STILL doesn't have wireless in most of the dorms and a few of the academic buildings...ugh), one of my professors had the nerve to ask our entire class not to use our laptops to take notes during class because "they were too distracting." I bring my laptop to class so that I can take notes faster and have the Power Points which are posted on Blackboard (not sure if you're familiar with it) up in case he moves to the next slide before I'm ready. I feel as though most educators over the age of 35 see technology as a hinderance, not an aid, when it comes to education and that is very frustrating to me. Sure, some kids bring their laptops to lecture to go on Facebook, but if they were only armed with a notebook, would they be paying much attention anyway? Those who want to learn will use technology to enhance learning; those who use it for Facebook or games during class will find ways to distract themselves (doodling, texting, etc.) whether they are allowed technology or not.