1 to 1 and Done?


Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that presents?

Technology has always been a double edged sword to me – it wields the power to serve as a tool for immense learning or act as a weapon of mass distraction. So when presented with the hypothetical task of piloting my school’s “1 to 1 Project”, I proceed with a bit of trepidation. However, I believe that with adequate preparation and a solid intention/plan for how the technology would be used, I could alleviate some of my worries.

The intention I could see myself setting for the technology is to see them used as tools for creation/production. By handing out iPads/Chrome books/etc. it’d be hard to manage what students are using them for at all times but by requiring students to produce something with the equipment, it’s easy to hold kids accountable. Also, as a teacher, I’d want to ensure that my students have reliable access to quality information – to do this, I’d need to be responsible for getting that information to my students (or giving them specific locations to retrieve it themselves). I see this point as an issue of equity/access and would take advantage of this step to down play a student’s prior access (or lack thereof) to technology/research. 

Ultimately, anything worth trying usually doesn’t come without risk and the 1 to 1 Project is no exception. If implemented haphazardly it’ll backfire but with strong intentionality, it should provide immense opportunity for learning and growth – after all, technology is embedded in pretty much every aspect of our lives so why should the classroom be any different?

Image Credit

Site: http://www.loc.gov/item/89712629/

Call NumberPC 3 – 1803 – An Experiment with a burning (A size) [P&P]

Library of Congress Catalog Number: 89712629

Reproduction Numbe: rLC-USZ62-97643 (b&w film copy neg.)

iPads for everyone: the 1 to 1 classroom

Anti-communist propaganda warning of “the dangers of a Communist takeover”.

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that presents?

Yay! I’ve been given a 1 to 1 classroom as a pilot program for my school. At first my heart is pounding and my head racing with ideas of what to do with such unrestrained freedom in my classroom. With access to all the information and knowledge the internet contains at their fingertips, there is nothing my students cannot do.

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Post-Peer Review Thoughts & Bill of Rights Lesson

At this stage in my teaching career, I found it valuable just to articulate my lesson thoughts to another person. Just like when writing a paper, a certain amount of myopia sets in for me when planning a lesson. My closeness to the material might make me overlook otherwise obvious concerns. For example, I decided to have the students evaluate each other’s presentations by a rubric. However, I hadn’t included any assessment requiring the students to demonstrate that they understood the content of those presentations.

Similarly, when listening to other people’s plans, the first questions to pop into my mind were about the practical execution of their lessons, not the fundamental ideas underlying them. For example, Stephen’s Civil War tug-of-war lesson sparked my (and others’) interest and led to lively discussion about how to make sure it would go smoothly.

Let’s not limit ourselves to our peers for feedback, however. Whether or not a demonstration like the tug-of-war went as planned, I’m sure it would be engaging for everyone. If we then explained to the students what it was intended to show, and asked the students of ways to improve it, I expect they’d be full of suggestions. Indeed, as long as we’re transparent about what we hope the students will learn, students should always be available as a source of feedback about an activity’s efficacy. That, more than anything, is what I see Professor Pappas modeling in our course.

Following is the lesson outline that I brought to class for peer review. It’s intended to be one component of a ten-lesson unit on the Bill of Rights. The students will have already been introduced to the content of the amendments, and will have been studying the Constitution as a whole in the preceeding unit. I want to provide the students with an opportunity to engage with a specific topic a little more deeply, and perhaps learn about the process of legal reform inductively through it.

If anybody would like to take a look at it, I’d be much obliged!

-Aram Glick

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Lesson Study Reflection: Share Out of Ideas!


Today in Ed Methods, we went over our Lesson Study assignment. Each person wrote their own plan on a topic they hope to teach in the future. We paired up based on similar topics, which was nice because we could see similarities and differences in our plans right away. Then we did a share out to the class so everyone could hear everyone’s ideas. It was a discussion-filled class for sure that did not need much prompting from the professor, which to me is a good sign (it means we are thinking!).

I really enjoyed that the lesson plans were all varied, ranging from world history to specific congressional roles in the U.S. It was interesting to see how much people varied their writing style. Some were super detailed on a specific lesson for one day, while others did a broad scope on a unit. What I did notice that almost everyone’s lesson dealt with the (sometimes-daunting) Work Sample. I think it is okay that everyone zoned in on that, it shows that we are excited and wanting to prepare for it.

The discussion of the lesson plans was almost more beneficial than the writing of the plans actually. It was quite funny because while I was writing my plan, I kept thinking how I wished someone was near me so I could bounce ideas off of them. Then I get to class and I have eleven colleagues throwing ideas and suggestions at me! It was great!

At times, the sharing felt like a long process though. It was hard at certain times to see how someone else’s lesson related to mine. I also noticed that people struggled to give concise summaries of their plans (I included!). I think it is because we are all educators at heart and educators just seem to be a bit more longwinded. We want to make sure everyone is clear on what we are saying which means a detailed explanation, of course. Other than the summaries though, I think we had a great higher-level discussion. It is so beneficial to talk with our peers because we understand both theory and classroom reality, and can therefore give more detailed feedback. The feedback was not simply “that sounds like a fun activity.” Instead, the feedback went deeper by discussing how students will probably respond and potential speed bumps that could occur.

This assignment allowed me to gain some good ideas from my peers on activities to try in my future career. I especially like it when people share their simulation ideas because I am big on simulations in classrooms. To me, lectures and simulations are a great way to solidify knowledge.

Before class was even out, I found myself contemplating how I could do the assignment differently next time. I know I want to be more specific next time, picking a specific lesson instead of an overarching unit. Discussing the unit was helpful because it gave me a direction to head in, but now I am ready to figure out the specifics and start to lay down actual plans to carry out. I also want to be more mindful of including formative assessments because I noticed many of our lessons did not include much of either kind of assessments (formative & summative). Sometimes assessments (especially formative) are the hardest to create because it is difficult to boil down a whole lesson into a specific (and usually brief) summation/quiz. I know they are just check-ups on student learning but I still struggle to find specific things to gauge their processing of the new information.

Overall, I am feeling more ready for lesson planning in the future!

Photo cred: StefCooke on http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-write-a-lesson-plan/