My district went one-to-one with iPads while I was a 6th grade reading teacher. This was very exciting for our school and especially popular with our students. The teachers, on the other hand, were a little concerned.
I wondered, would this require more work from us? How would students handle this new responsibility?
These were a few questions I asked myself as we sat through extensive iPad trainings. On one hand, I was pumped about the creativity iPads encouraged from students. But part of me did wonder whether my 6th graders were capable of using the new devices appropriately.
All of the 6th grade teachers gathered together once a week to talk about teacher and student expectations. We discussed how to charge and store the iPads in our carts overnight and on weekends. We also talked about which apps we would be using each week for individual lessons.
Teaching with technology worked so well for us because of all the thoughtful planning that took place beforehand. When a problem did arise, we were able to handle it carefully by following the rules in place.
By the time we placed the iPads in our students’ hands, every procedure was in place. Things ran smoothly. Blended learning enhanced my students’ engagement in class and their performance overall. Students started teaching me things about the apps we were using in class. I felt challenged to come up with new ways to teach lessons and take grades.
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