Saturday, January 27, 2018

Yes They Can! Primary Students Can USE Technology!

Four years ago this district started a one to one laptop program. Teachers have to apply to get the cart. At the time I was teaching Kindergarten. I don't think very many people expected me to get the cart. But I did! I am teaching first grade now and every day they prove what I felt: Primary students CAN use technology!

Then came all the concerns:
    They can't use a trackpad
    They can't log in themselves, this districts uses a password that requires numbers and letters (at least one uppercase)
    They will drop them
    They will color, write, draw, etc... on them
    They can't do it

I will share how I addressed these concerns in my classroom.  I should also add, my school is high poverty, they don't have computers at home. It is also high ELL, with over 75% being dual language learners. 

Let's start with getting a laptop each day. They are stored on a cart and have to be plugged in to charge each night.

Organization: 
   This is key to the laptop use. I give my students a number, 1-18, and put it on their name tag. Each laptop has the number on the top, in a nice paint pen or chalk pen. The trays in the charging cart also have a number. My students use the same computer every day. They know where to find and where to put the laptop away. Bonus: The network will cache the profile meaning the daily login goes a little faster.  

The laptops stay on the desks. I have 4 desks pushed together, so the laptops go in the middle; leaving plenty of room to work. The students get their own laptop from the cart each morning. In the afternoon, the helpers for the day put the laptops away. It is less crowded around the cart. fewer students in one spot = less chaos.  

They know the plug isn't in all the way if the charging light doesn't come on. It is a great visual clue for them, and something they would pick up themselves. They are already learning to troubleshoot technology problems. 

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