Taming the Monster - Classroom Management for the Connected Classroom
I'm attending the TCEA "Tots and Technology" conference in Galveston, Texas. It's a fantastic two-day conference geared to elementary teachers with a focus on integrating technology in the classroom. As a former secondary teacher and administrator, this is a great way for me to find ways to help the elementary teachers in our district. God bless 'em, they get to work with PK-5 grade students every day!
The keynote speaker this morning was Gail Loveley (www.lovelylearning.com). Her focus was on "Training the Monster - Classroom Management for the Connected Classroom" - how to manage a connected elementary classroom and make technology "a little less daunting."
Gail started by outlining "excuses" why we don't use technology:
- not enough staff development
- we don't trust our students
- can't rely on them, always breaking down
- too dangerous for students to use
- "we learned without them"
- students are already experts with technology
- not all students have access to technology
Now, Gail did this by showing a clever XtraNormal cartoon, PencilChat, in which two teachers talked about the danger of using pencils in the classroom.
So, how to we manage our tech tools save time? Here are some of Gail's suggestions:
- Narrow down your favorite sites. There is no reason to have a thousand sites that we use. Find your favorite "go to" sites.
- Find sites that students can get in and out of quickly.
- Keep passwords simple! Your students need to be able to type them in.
- Engage your students in the classroom - offer choice, offer opportunities for collaboration, challenge them appropriately (not too easy not too hard)
- When offering choice - keep it simple. Offer limited choice.
- Technology must integrate "tasks" not be busy work. We have to leave behind the time when students were given computer time when they finished "their work" or when it was used as a "reward." Technology is not a "dessert" it is the "main course."
- Look for examples of technology that works. Another teacher's success can teach you a lot about what works and what doesn't work. The Florida Technology Integration Matrix can help you envision what good technology integration looks like.
- Build a great lesson plan objective using The Differentiator!
Some great ideas!
Image from: http://www.technologymonster.com/images/monster_logo2.png