I remember when I had to walk up hill, both ways, to school in two feet of snow. No, wait, that was my grandfather’s story.
I remember back when I had to organize and tend to laptop carts. Power cords strewn everywhere, except in their properly labeled bags. Unsanitized, communal headphones (ick) laboriously signed out from the IT department. My young son’s life offered as a trade should they not be properly returned. Oh, those days were rough. Oh, how we suffered. Almost more so than grandpa’s cold, snowy trudges.
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Now, my worst struggle is usually, “What! That kid doesn’t have a Lenovo! Now I have to work for 1.5 seconds longer to find their screen brightness button. Geash!”
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Life is good.
Back two years ago I was a nervous wreck about being a teacher in a full on one-to-one learning environment. I actually crafted my professional goal as:
“Various new forms of classroom management in a one-to-one learning environment will be explored.”
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About two months after submitting this revolutionary proposal I hung my head, shuffled my way back into the middle school office and agreed with my all-knowing supervisor that, yes, this was completely useless and unnecessary. He was glad I got it out of my system.
Anyways, I discovered that the rules in my classroom did not change, they just received a 21st century facelift.
Then: “Put that game, note, toy or whatever away. I’m talking to you.”
Now: “Close that screen. I’m still talking to you.”
Then: “Put your name on your paper.”
Now: “Name your file correctly.”
Then: “No backpacks in my room. I’m a klutz therefore backpacks are a hazard. Oh yea, and I teach science. Flames, chemicals, sharp objects and a room full of obstacles and a klutzy teacher is a bad idea.”
Now: “No plugging in. I’ll take a header as I trip over the cord.”
Then: “No doodling or scrunched up papers. Be proud of what you submit”
Now: “Resize your images, your text in blue, my text in black, use 1.5 spacing to leave room for comments, common-use images only. Be proud of what you submit.”
The rules haven’t changed. Teachers just have to know enough to adapt the rules a bit. How can teachers redefine their classroom procedures to adapt to a one-to-one learning environment? They should steal.
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I mean borrow. Borrow and learn from the best. I sat in the back of colleagues’ classrooms for a full year and “borrowed” all their tips and tricks. I learned so much watching these folks in action. File organization, tips on monitoring students, new and exciting products. What did they do initially to prepare for computers in their rooms? They traveled the world to learn from other schools. They brainstormed and experimented together.
Classroom management in a one-to-one classroom isn’t new. If you were a good classroom manager then, I believe you’ll be a good classroom manager with a room full of computers. Don’t be shy. Look what is happening around you and bring it into your own class.
You’re welcome to visit my room. As long as you don’t plug in.
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