Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Teacher's Lament Part II

I imagine I could write numerous posts with this title.  It seems that life in the classroom rushes forward at mock speed, and teachers typically are thrust into the winds, racing, dancing, stumbling to keep up.  Ideally, we are forward-thinking, with the time and space to plan thoughtfully.  But reality is more powerful, meetings are more frequent, immediate needs more pressing...

And so, Teacher's Lament Part II is the continued saga of my 20-20 hindsight.  We just finished a unit on persuasive writing.  Students looked at models, marked key components of writing on these sample papers or on their peer's papers, wrote on many different topics, collaborated on ideas, posted online to a real debate forum, gave friendly feedback to peers and so on.

But it just occured to me that using iPads could have been another tool for interacting with the text.  Using Skitch, students could take a picture of their work and mark up or comment on their or someone else's writing.  Using some other PDF reading tool, students could do the same with the sample pieces provided online.  Yes, it is doing the same thing that we did...just with technology.  But, perhaps some kids would have been more engaged, or hands-on, or receptive to really taking time to think through the structure and ideas presented before them instead of rushing through.

It certainly would have been a good experiment, and a way to take my teaching to a new level.

Next time.

1 comment:

  1. First of all, I love your voice in these posts! I also appreciate the pun involved in your choice of phrasing with "mock speed" - mocking our ongoing attempts to be those forward thinking educators.

    I wonder if a function of your lack of ready experimentation has to do with limited access. Certainly a 1:1 ratio would encourage in-the-moment exploration in a different way. And, if it became routine in your class to have students explore and suggest apps for each assignment or learning goal (an Alan November digital learning farm job), then students could play a role in helping you to avoid the hindsight blues.

    Great post!