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?