Using the Devices for the First Time. Eek!!!

Last week we used our i Pads for the first time!! It was pretty exciting and a little scary all at the same time. As a teacher, we are traditionally expected to maintain all control in the classroom and keep everything in an orderly manner. Well, if you are planning to blend your classroom and/or flip it,  YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LET GO!! If you have never done it, it’s a scary thing. I like being in control of my classroom but at the same time I want my students to explore the concepts that we are covering in more detail to help deepen their understanding and possibly clear up any misconceptions that they may have acquired.

We just started our Evidence of Evolution unit and our first lesson consisted of the following objectives:

Who is Charles Darwin and what did he contribute to the study of Evolution?

What is Evolution?

What is Natural Selection?

What is an adaptation?

To do this, had them view a video lesson on Khan Academy about Evolution and Natural Selection(love Khan Academy) and we used this awesome app called Evolutionary Biology . They viewed the video then followed up the lesson by utilizing the Evolutionary Biology App which reviewed them over natural selection, evolution, adaptations, and etc.  What was really awesome that it ended with a natural selection game using snakes and mice. AWESOME!!! It really helped reinforce the objectives for the lesson and the students had fun. Toward the end of class, we shut everything down and had a class discussion about what they learned (i.e. the objectives). Class was extra wonderful that day.

One of the biggest issues that I think most teachers will have is how to manage classroom behavior while using the technology. Your classroom management has to be set in stone long before you put the iPad  in a student’s hands. Your expectations MUST be set and clearly defined and before they use any technology, an AUP is a must (Acceptable Use Policy). I put everything I could think of on my AUP. For example, my students know that if I come across anything inappropriate and/or misuse, I will take a screenshot of it and email it to their parents and principle. Then I will document it (hard copy), have them sign it, and they will lose the privilege of using the iPad in class. Plus, my students know that they will lose trust points. (They don’t like that) But it’s something that I establish from day one.

Other than that, I have had a great time using the iPads in class and I’m constantly searching for other ways to present the material to them via the iPad. It’s a lot of work, but I have fun doing it and once you start it, it’s hard to stop. (It’s a good thing!!)


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