Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Testing the Waters

So today was the students' first day back from winter break. As a part of my easing them back into academic life process I thought we'd spend a little bit of time chatting about the pending laptops. After all, they could be here as soon as three weeks time!

I started by sharing the information with them about when things were voted on and how certain things were determined - though of course my knowledge of the details is minimal. They really tuned in to that whole thing though. It's amazing to see how much they care about this process. Then I opened the floor up to questions, not all of which I was able to answer unfortunately. I was very impressed with the quality of their questions. The students showed great concern for taking care of the devices and capability. Next, I got their feedback on how the devices will be used in the English classroom. For instance, how do they feel about digital textbooks, digital journals every day and digital note taking. The general consensus was pretty positive. The nice thing was that for almost every concern I was able to provide options. For example, every student writes in a spiral notebook for three minutes every day, and some said they would prefer to go digital with that process while others prefer to maintain their spiral. Another thing I found interesting was that a high number of students said they would definitely take more and better notes if they could type them instead. That's the answer I was hoping for, but honestly I doubted that they would say that. That's a good kind of surprise in my book though. We finished the discussion by having each student fill out a brief survey about their comfort with Macs and their home technology access. I'm eager to check them and see just how much access these kids really have when they leave these walls.

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