My teachers were asked to blog our internatl elgg site about the early stages of our 1-to-1 tablet program. This is what a 9th grade English teacher had to say.
Did you ever see that Simpson’s episode where Homer goes 3-D?
Going 1:1 is like that: at first one runs through a wall to find a strange world with a shocking new dimension: depth. The consequences are a mix of anxiety and fear and wonder at the possibilities. Now, in addition to the grasp of subject matter and knowing the kids, one grapples with new sets of pedagogies, new array of tools and means of students interacting, manipulating, encoding and delivering information. And there is, on top of that, not just one tool that will do the job you didn’t realize you needed (but you do), but now, perhaps 7 or 8 different programs that might work–and deciding which on will work or fit your needs best can feel like it own hole in the space-time continuum yawning wider and wider. The kids, however are the drivers in this, adapting rather shockingly well to things. I was spectacularly impressed by them while walking down the halls during the Civilizations unit, to find student after student diligently at work, solving problems as they arose–again not without some anxiety–but diligently throwing themselves into it and solving the problems, finding work arounds: dealing. But with some squeezing and feeling pulled along, there is a growing sense that we are arriving at a new WOW. I love the interact, dyknow and onenotes use thatwe have exlored so far; my smartboard skills are not so smart yet…
One new new “difficulty” is the shift back and forth between the laptop classroom and students who do not arrive with one in hand (seniors). To go out on another “metaphorical limb” that is a bit like owning one car that is an automatic and another that is manual transmission, and your spouse suddenly took the one that you are used to driving: you just can’t expect to hold your coffee the way you used to anymore; you find yourself approaching a stoplight on a hill and are suddenly overcome with unaccustomed emotions as you check the review mirror to find a patrol car rolling slolwy up behind you.