Monday, November 25, 2013

Misconceptions of a 1:1 Classroom

Photo Credit: Kai Schreiber 

Maybe I should have a sign that hangs outside my door: "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

In my school, I am the only one who teaches with 1:1 devices in an academic content area, and it has come to my attention that some believe my students must sit in front of their screens all period, typing away at their keyboards in silence and never talking to each other.

Perhaps this is my fault.  After all, I shared that I don't subscribe to the "sage on the stage" philosophy, that I'm a facilitator of learning, and that my students work hard every day to create content, not just consume it.  I told them that my students use their Chromebooks every day in my class.  Intensely.

To them, it means that my students are zombies, sitting in invisible cubicles, deprived of their ability to practice their social skills.

To me, it means that my classroom is a vibrant, noisy place where students are analyzing text (loudly), leading their own discussions (verbally and online), and constructing meaning among themselves (animatedly).

My students write to explain, deconstruct, reflect, and argue their viewpoints.  They use web 2.0 tools to collaborate on projects and create multimedia presentations.  They present in front of the class to share their findings.  They stand by their Chromebooks at their team tables, showcasing their Google slides while other students circulate around the room listening to their poster-style presentations.

My students blog with the world, and they're building their ePortfolios using Google Sites.  While they work, they are far from quiet, as they are regularly asked to view each other's work, give each other feedback, and compete against each other in teams.  Peer editing and peer nominations are encouraged and required in my classroom.

My students are prolific writers, intellectual thinkers, and inquisitive learners.  No, they are not droids, and using technology in my class will never turn them into robots.

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