Immediately, I became relieved. Relieved that I wouldn't be purchasing expensive equipment for my classroom (iPods, Netbooks, Smartphones). Yes, I would have done that. Like I said, once my mind is set on something I go after if full force. My mind was made up this summer to provide my students with a mobile learning environment. (I already have 1 grant written for iPod Touches.) Then, I became worried. One lab cart? Who else would be using it? How often would I have to share? Yes, I have sharing issues (I'm the oldest of 5), but I try to get beyond that. Would others share with me when they wanted to use them? How flexible could 10 teachers be w/1 cart? I think we'll be very flexible. Yet, the anxiety didn't stop there. OMG ~ I have to set up student Twitter & email accounts. The accounts should probably have a similar user name so that it's easy for them to remember. How quickly can I get them in my room? What should I teach them how to do 1st? And the list goes on.
One could think that I'm looking at the netbooks as a toy, but truly for me they are tool. And like any other tool I use in my classroom it needs to be well thought out. I agonized over the netbooks the same way I agonize over colored pencils. Anytime I bring a tool to my students I ask:
- What will we use it for? research, Twitter, email experts, create multi-media products, blog, e-portfolios, educational games & tools
- How often will we use it? as often as possible, preferably daily
- How many different ways can the children use it? back channeling, sharing classroom events, reflection
- What do I really want the children to learn from using this tool? how to write, reflect, respond, think, social responsibility, empathy
- How will I introduce it? interactive modeling...how to turn it on, getting on - line, turning it off, putting them away; guided discovery...all the ways twitter (class website, google, etc.) can be used
So, I say...be excited, with purpose!