Now that our school year is in full-swing, it’s a good time to reflect on how you’re managing all those devices in your classroom. No matter what type of device you’re using or seeing in your classroom, it’s good to regularly reinforce your expectations regarding technology:
- Make your expectations clear
- Use consistent key phrases and non-verbal signals that signal the end of an activity or a transition between activities (“Apples up,” “Screens down”)
- Have a consistent routine for your students and their devices. Repeat and reinforce this routine each class period.
- Make tech behavior clear with every assignment
- Apply consequences as appropriate
Ideas for routines with devices:
- Devices stay screens down on top of table until it’s an appropriate time for use. You see where the devices are and students can’t hide what they’re doing with them.
- Devices stay in their backpacks until it’s time to use them.
- Only use the iPad for class assignments and not cell phones. We provide students iPads that are restricted and don’t have social media opportunities. Research proves that cell phones are the larger distraction, for students and staff.
As you go through your day, watch for the signs of distraction:
- iPad is moving around
- iPad is on lap
- iPad is leaned toward the student
- Thumbs or fingers are moving feverishly when there are no notes to be taken
- Frequent double clicks or 4-finger swipes when you walk by
- Students doing work on phones instead of iPads.
Redirect as you notice distraction:
- Use proximity
- Circulate around the room
- Remind students of expectations
- Change seating arrangements
- Be consistent with your expectations and reactions
- Speak with the student after class
- Partner with parents
Don’t become outraged when students are initially distracted. Redirect and give them the opportunity to reconnect with you and the task at hand.
Remember, everyday is a new day to start, practice and reinforce expectations
Teaching in a 1:1 environment will involve all of these aspects of teaching. And while you can get by having students use technology simply as a substitute for what they would otherwise do on paper (read, write, work on math problems), there is a much larger world of discovery and creativity now at their fingertips. – iPad Bootcamp for Teachers