Classroom management with technology

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by luv2teach415, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Aug 24, 2017

    I'll be teaching 8th grade history this year. Many of the students use computers throughout class to take notes, but I know these kids pretty well and they quickly get distracted. The classroom I will be in is very small - so small that it is not really feasible to walk around the classroom. How do you make sure the students are using their computers appropriately? Do you have any methods or strategies that have worked with your middle school class to make sure the computer is used correctly? Thanks in advance for all input!
     
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  3. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Aug 24, 2017

    To be honest, I probably just wouldn't let them use the computer to take notes at that level. Just use paper and pencil.
     
  4. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Unfortunately, we have to allow the students because many of their IEPs have a computer accommodation.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 24, 2017

    Have random kids each day print out their notes for you to collect?
     
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  6. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

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    Aug 25, 2017

    Luv I am assuming you do not have a monitoring program because that makes this so much easier. One thing I would consider is desk configuration. I've had small rooms too but if I put students in groups of 4 I've always been able to make moving around the classroom work. Would grouping help with proximity? I would probably also think about how to combine this with pre-teaching. I think students of this age typically have a good idea of what they should be doing but explicit pre-teaching and reminders help. If you have access to something like Google Docs you could also ask students to share their note taking document with you - if they regularly are writing very little (because they are distracted) this could be a good starting point for a dialogue about using different/ more effective accommodations?
     
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  7. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Aug 26, 2017

    I would talk to their case managers and parents about the distraction factor. No child needs a computer to take notes. They might need a word processing tablet, but they don't need anything that has games or internet on it. If students are not using their accommodations properly, they should be removed.
     
  8. rpan

    rpan Cohort

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    Aug 26, 2017

    I'd be standing at the back of the room often to see their screens if possible. I do this pretty often so my students know I got eyes on their screens. At first they kept turning their heads to look back at me talking but they slowly got used to it and now they don't even turn their heads.
    Also, you could use applications that could help you monitor if they were using technology appropriately eg wallwisher is the first thing that pops into my head. They still use technology but in a different way. They stick notes on the virtual wall to show understanding or that they are doing the right thing. You could give them proper handouts afterwards.
     
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  9. Bioguru

    Bioguru Companion

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    Aug 28, 2017

    I second this 100%. The overwhelming majority of research indicates that it is actually detrimental to take notes on a computer versus pen and paper. We are 1:1 with Chromebooks at my school and my policy is they must stay in their case during notes/problem sets. Our school uses Hapara to monitor Chromebook activity during collaboration.
     
  10. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 29, 2017

    Whether computers, pen-paper or hammer-chisel the underlying problem seems to be a teacher way over here and students way over there. Of course some goof off. They gamble, rightly so, at not getting caught. If you can, find some time to go into the room and fiddle with desk arrangement. Try pushing desks against side walls (twos) with aisles arranged in an inside loop. If there's a teacher's desk get rid of it. The correct set-up is not where the students are rather where you are. Advice about teaching from the back is something to consider as is constantly moving while teaching. There is no rule a teacher must velcro oneself to a lectern, computer or in front of the class. If you need to write on the board choose a student to do it. Then you can move and monitor.

    Something else. Some teachers avoid lecture delivery due to the fact the teacher does most of the work while students watch. Lecture usually goes like this: input-input-input-input-input-output. Often students don't do anything with the material until the last ten minutes of class or it's assigned for homework. Consider teaching a small "chunk" of material and have students do something with it. While they are doing you are walking around checking understanding (and doing discipline for free). A lesson that engages students looks like: input-output-input-output-input-output. In other words, the longer a teacher remains stationary and blah-blah-blah the higher the rate of off task.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2017

    I would also suggest to set up the room so that you can easily see their screens. That is probably the easiest. I taught computer based classes before, and even though we had a monitoring system, it was still more complicated as opposed to seeing their screen.
     
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  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 30, 2017

    You have to be able to move around the room. If you really can't, can you do random checks where you have them turn their screens around so you can see what they're doing? It should be pretty obvious if they're off-task and have to scramble to close tabs/windows.
     
  13. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Aug 30, 2017

    Great idea - sort of like when students use lap boards and teacher checks for understanding by saying to the whole class "Show" which is the direction to hold up your board.
     
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