My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

My Diigo Bookmarks (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The age of the computers

I could tell today the 6th graders were ready to work on their VoiceThread now that the boring part, me talking, was out of the way. Class started with the upload of images, and then it got rough.

The computers in the lab are a bit old; aged like a fine cheese. They work, so there are no complaints there. But, when the students started to record audio on them, the computers sloooooooowed down. Not only did they slow down but many just locked up which required a Restart and no one likes a Restart. The good thing was that the kids were patient making it easier to deal with as I flew from one side of the room to the other trying to fix or troubleshoot issues.

This brings me to a topic that I have been talking about with teachers at BBHMS. Many teachers received a laptop cart as part of a textbook adoption giving them an opportunity to put a laptop into the hands of every kid in the room. This is awesome!! What isn’t awesome are the wireless network difficulties that we are experiencing right now with so many wireless devices accessing the network. It gets frustrating for the teachers when they want to have the kids do things and can’t. I get that. Everyone loves to have a new technology and everyone wants it to work, and when it does everyone is happy. However, it hasn’t been a smooth ride and this is where teachers choose not to use technology because it can be such a hassle even it comes in a cart with 30 laptops. I have been explaining the issue and most are patient, but they want it to work. The lesson to learn is that technology is rarely without its glitches. Knowing the glitches were there, and as the tech guy, I kept a calm head and didn’t complain about how bad the computers were. I did mention that the computers were old, but if I started to complain the kids would have been reluctant to work.

Need to Know

Interesting day today with the 6th graders. As I was speaking in class close to mid-day, I found that the kids were listening with staring eyes. So, I stopped and got their attention by asking some questions. One of the questions I asked was, “What kind of stuff do you want to do in here?” in hopes that it would spark some kind of conversation. One answer from a student was that he would like to build a website. I said that would be fine and then asked what it would be about. He didn’t know. I questioned a bit further and came to understand that building a site would be cool but no one knows what the site would be about. With an idea lodged in head, the idea being that the kids really don’t know what they want to learn, I asked them to send me an email telling me what would interest them. The general pattern was this:

  • build a website
  • make games
  • learn VoiceThread (this is what we are doing right now)
  • learn how to better use Chrome

That was it. What did I learn? Despite the boredom on their faces, and knowing they really weren’t engaged in learning, the 6th graders still didn’t know what the alternative would be to learning what I was teaching. In even kids in the digital age really don’t know what is all out there and need someone to show it to them.