A little background… I have a Classroom of the Future. No really, that’s what my school district is calling it. Last fall my administration approached me with an opportunity to pilot some of the technology that my school district was interested in. As someone who proudly possesses a growth mindset, is passionate about technology, and in general, has difficulty saying no, I agreed.
It took some planning and logistical decisions, but as of now, we’ve been a Classroom of the Future for a few weeks. My room has transformed; and I’m not just referring to the layout or look. We are one-to-one in my classroom; which is actually part of another pilot relating to the passing of our most recent technology levy, we have the latest and greatest Smartboard (I’ve always had a Smartboard, but this new one sure is something), and we have the most amazing projector that has turned my plain old whiteboard into an interactive Smartboard. To recap: we have 28 Surface Pro 3’s and two walls with interactive devices that my kids can hook right up to.
Like I said, it’s not just the look and layout that has transformed. It has become very apparent that both my students and my own outlook on how learning can take place in our classroom and how my students can demonstrate that learning, has changed. My intent for my next few posts, is to share with you some of the websites, apps, or routines that we have incorporated into our daily 6th grade lives. Changes we have made that have had a hugely positive impact in learning and engagement. I’m very aware of how fortunate my students and I are to have this technology, but many of the things I share can also be done if you have access to a computer lab or laptop cart as well!
I’m willing to bet that most of you have experience with Survey Monkey; at least from the position of survey-taker. One of the first mornings that we had our new one-to-one devices, I decided to try something new for our entry tasks. I wanted something that would fit into our existing routines; a calm and quiet opening to our day where students work independently while announcements and attendance are happening. I also wanted something that I could use for data, as I often put math problems from the previous day’s lesson or something new that they’ll see during that day’s lesson. This is my quick daily check in to see what they know.
About 15 minutes before the kids came in, I decided to try the Survey Monkey route. I signed up for the free account and got to work. Having never created one before, it was a little clunky at first, but not so terrible that I couldn’t come up with a respectable survey in that short amount of time. This routine has been a huge benefit to our classroom. For starters, we are being very conscious about the amount of paper used in our building, and using Survey Monkey for my entry task is saving me at least 26 copies each day. Secondly, as you see in the pictures, the survey results provide me with a very quick and visual way to check in on my students progress and on any other question I have for them. My students LOVE to see the real-time data as I project it on the wall in the morning. They feel safe about it as well, because their name is not attached to the whole-class graphs unless I go in and look at specific results, which I don’t do in front of the whole group.
I am committed to making the best of this amazing opportunity. At first I was nervous about completely switching up the way we do things in my classroom; but what I’ve realized is that it’s not about changing everything, it’s about using technology to enhance what we already do.
Stay tuned for my post next month about another transformative tech tool!