Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back to Basics?

Guess what we learned today? We learned how to use a computer. Yep! You read that correctly...a computer! My intention for the lesson centered around applying their knowledge of literary devices. After learning and exploring examples,  I planned an amazing two-day adventure so my beloved students could "show what they know." Of course, a few of the stations had to have a technology component. As horrible as it sounds, I really had not had my students produce a product in Word. I know, I know!!!!! At planning time I had not realized this flaw, but it taught me quite a lot!

And so Monday arrived, we were working like a well oiled machine. It was as if my classroom was THE model for a self-directed classroom. On the Danielson Rubric, I would definitely receive a score of 4. Then it happened in a domino effect, students began asking questions about setting up their document. I was baffled! I wanted to display their beautiful work in the hallway.They all received the specifications and direction for the product. It was a simple sentence with simple instructions: landscape, centered, any font that is bigger than 16, check spelling, and print.

This confusion and tutoring lasted the entire class period and into the next. I began to fear for hours three and four. Suddenly the issue became very apparent. These Digital Natives have had no general need for a laptop and desktop computer. Everything they may possibly need has been on a handheld device. There doesn't need to be center justification in a text message. It truly made me pause for a moment and take in the idea of it all. Technology had become so advanced in my world that it is almost mind blowing, but not for our students.

I found Ashleigh and told her my observation. She immediately knew what issues I was having. She had experienced the same issues with her own students, using PowerPoint. After we both confirmed that we weren't alone,she and I did what had to be done. I went into that room and taught the basics of producing a Word document. To some of my sweeties, it was a refresher. Yet to others, it was a brand new ball game. All in all, something techie was accomplished that day, although it wasn't what I had planned.  But, days like these teach me things.

It should be quite interesting to see what their future will hold. What will be necessary and what becomes obsolete?

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