Wednesday, 20 February 2013

If I were a kid in my own class. . .

Well. . .the parent permission forms are out and the kids are itching to bring their tech devices to school.  (If you don't know what I am talking about, you should read this.) Before I let the messiness of reality crash my dreams of what could be. . .let me dream a little longer.  So the question is: if I was a kid in a Middle School class where I could bring my Iphone 5 (or whatever smart device I might own or be lent), what cool stuff could I do?

First Block: Math - Here is where paperless society meets UDL. 

I scan the QR code my teacher has on the wall as I walk into the class.  It gets me to the learning intention for the day: Adding mixed numbers.  I read the teaching notes and slip on my headphones.  There are two Youtube videos my teacher wanted me to view before I "play" with the manipulatives sitting on the table.  The teacher texts me saying that it is now time for a mini lesson at the front.  Anyone who doesn't get the lesson comes up.  I figure I know what I am doing so I start demonstrating 2 1/2 plus 3 4/6 with pattern blocks.  I take a picture of my answer.  I use the pattern blocks to try a few more questions.  I check with a student at my table if I am doing it right.  She figures I get it.  I watch her and it seems like she gets it too.  My teacher comes by and I show my pictures.  I get the nod and I move from manipulatives to models.  I "open in" the PDF set of questions in PDF Max Pro and start inking my answers with my stylus.  The teaching notes say I don't have to answer the questions by drawing just pattern block shapes.  I can use whatever shapes that I feel work.  I figure I'll draw pizza slices.  Next, I have to add mixed numbers without pictures.  There is a link for a video but after watching it, I still don't get it.  I put my name on a cue list for some help.  While I try another question, my teacher comes by: "You wanted some help?"  "Yah.  I get my questions answer and I continue on with the practice.  When I am done, I upload the PDF to the hand in box in my teacher's virtual classroom.  The teaching notes tell me which IXL sections are for homework and I work on a few questions before the bell rings for Nut. Break.

As I look over "Dream 1", I am hit with 2 ideas.  One: I hope you know that I know that usually classrooms don't "just work" like that.  Off task behaviour, kids without materials, kids who just don't get the process: I am aware of all that.  But though we plan for all that, we don't let it derail the cool/awesome/fun that we do as teachers.  Let the dream stand.

And two: I have a sense that my dream is just "new wine in an old wine skin".  A digital immigrant's view of what could be...old school with a digital paint job.  That is why I throw it out there.  To find out how I can get to places I don't even know exist.  So. . .what am I missing in my Math class to be?