Out of interest, this week I made the chart below which shows some ways I use my devices (iPad, MacBook & BenQ Interactive Screen) in my class. I know this isn’t it all, but as I was making this, I realize I do rely heavily on the use of a device and the internet, in my classroom.
Besides google docs & google drive which I use all the time, the Confer app and Hapara service are two items I couldn’t be without. Confer, because it is my form of record keeping. This link goes to a short Youtube video explaining how the note taking app works. Two highlights of this app for me, is the ability for me to make comments, then sort them by various categories and secondly it enables me to add photographs of my students work to support those particular comments. Hapara is also key to my management of digital work / information dissemination to my students. One feature I really like is it allows me to view the document my students are working on in real time, which enables me to record immediate feedback as I talk with my students. It is also a great way the students can collaborate together, for example on the same google doc or slide show.
‘Tech breaks’ caught my attention as I teach my students to work for 15-20 minutes maximum on their homework or study before they need a 5 min break so they can remain alert and productive. As part of this 5 minutes, I encourage them to schedule their ‘tech break’, so then while they are focusing on homework their mind hopefully isn’t wandering and their work is accomplished quicker. In an article by MIT about study habits, it states, “Turn off your phone while studying and on when you take a break.’ I couldn’t agree more. There is a time and place for everything.