After running a successful pilot last year, we purchased a full district license for the literacy support software suite Read&Write. The software is designed to support students and teachers at all levels with accessing and creating text in the digital environment. It works well on Chrome OS and MacOS devices.
A typical iPad stand costs north of $100. Moreover, they often aren't very robust so teachers tend to keep them to set in one place away from busy students. For just a few bucks ($5-$10), PVC and copper can make durable, flexible, and sweet-looking stands that work as a document camera, photo booth, and document scanner.
Empathy Design. Sounds easy right? The idea is really simple. Take a project that involves engineering design and add the element of putting yourself in somebody else's shoes as the focal point of the actual design itself. Design something that is not only meaningful to you, as the designer, but that takes someone else, and their needs into consideration. To design something for somebody else due to their set of circumstances or limitations or whatever. Its all the rage at Stanford.
The problem was, I didn't know how to marry the two. Engineering design and empathy.
As educators we are constantly learning; as the world changes and devices are common place in our classrooms, so too does our knowledge on behavior management with those devices evolve and need some slight variations on old standbys. Students still need affirmation, repetition, and demonstration, but hopefully some of the following ideas will help too.
Working with many teachers and school communities allows me to witness lots of wonderful things. Innovative practices. Camaraderie. Inspirational teachers. Engaged students. There are times, though, when it all comes together to gel into a more powerful experience than its individual pieces. You can't always plan for these instances, but it's very obvious when it happens...
Teacher's turned out for hands on learning and exploration at the first annual Tinker. Make. Code. event.
A few years ago, a discussion of the digital divide centered first around devices and then about access. Schools with few devices worked to find ways to add to their computer labs, and today many districts are moving to class sets of devices for each classroom, mobile computer/ipad carts, expanded computer labs, or a 1 to 1 device per student implementation.
For many people who have broadband connection at home, it is sometimes hard to imagine the effects of the digital divide in a classroom setting.
I'm Interested In...
These blog posts will be compiled by the team to show our current interests, and what we are doing around the district!