Article on Classroom Management

MadeyeFollowing the discussion about classroom management at the end of today’s meeting, I thought it would be interesting to see if there were any recent blog posts or articles discussing issues involving inappropriate use of their iPad during classtime (playing games, chatting with friends, posting instagram photos, etc.)

I came across this great post from Tim Schumacher,  a professor of educational technology:

My main line of argument with teachers went like this… If a student in your class is reading a book during Math class, what do you normally do?  Well, you give a verbal warning and ask them to put it away, or you put a check by their name or whatever.  What do you do if they  pull the book out again?  Well, you continue following your classroom management plan – another verbal warning, or you position yourself next to them while you continue, or ….  At some point, yes, you may have to remove the book and set it on your desk and you may have to contact the parent, etc.  The point is, IT issues should be no different.  Set a classroom management procedure and following it consistently – and only the more severe or repetitive infractions should be escalated to involve IT staff or admin.

He also mentions that we need to change our practices in the classroom:

The other change that had to happen as we moved into a 1:1 netbook program, and later a 1:1 iPad program, came through training teachers how to supervise computer use and manage their classrooms.

He goes on to outline 4 things they implemented in their school in order to help teachers manage the classroom. Now, there is nothing new here, but I think the point bears repeating. The classroom of 2013 looks very different than the classroom 20, even 10 years ago. It follows that the way we supervise the classroom must change as well. I like Schumacher’s emphasis on teacher’s using a uniform and clear vocabulary when asking their students to turn off their devices.

I also like his emphasis on re-training ourselves. I would also add that it is up to us to instil best practices in the students. I like what Ms. Website lady said in the meeting: every time she sees a grade 7 in the rotunda chatting online with her friend who happens to be sitting a few people away, she stops them and makes them say hello in person. Of course the students are distracted. Of course they will find ways to misuse technology. But as my experience has a parent has taught me, a lot of these lessons are in repetition.

Oh, and don’t forget your constant vigilance.

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