Friday, April 19, 2013
So, I worked as Teacher-on-Call in a secondary classroom for three days this week. Senior class of First Nations Studies; Grade 10 "Planning" class; grade 11/12 Communications (senior English for non-university-bound students), and 9th grade Social Studies. Nice kids, mostly. Well-planned lessons and classroom systems. Good back-up from the administration. But--teaching and learning? Wow! 'way out there!
When I was doing Teacher-Librarian training, we were encouraged to be the "Guide on the Side", not the "Sage on the Stage." That day seems to have come. Here's a paraphrase of the lesson plan for one of the classes: "The students have individual assignments. They may use the SmartBoard to access their assignments and print them off. I have booked the clsss into the Library. They are to research their topics. Some may use iPads (there are 13), others may use the library computers, and some will want to use their SmartPhones. Just make sure they access only the CareerCruising website--no online games."
If you haven't seen one, let me tell you about SmartBoards. They're essentially *huge* iPads, about 4' X 6', mounted on the wall where the chalkboard used to be in my day in the classroom. They have a touch-sensitive screen, which the teacher can use like a chalkboard: special pens make coloured images on the screen; the SmartBoard wirelessly accesses the internet via the teacher's classroom computer. Anything that can be displayed on the computer screen can be projected on the SmartBoard. And the students had to teach me how to use it : )
Smartphones as teaching tools? Brilliant! If you can't beat them, join them!
It was grand, but boy, oh boy, oh boy did I feel like I'd stepped into the world of my imagination!