Listening to Student Voices - on Technology. It arrived via Ednews@email.admail.net.
My students at Caddo Magnet High are encouraged to bring their laptops to school and use them during social studies class. They can take notes, research relevant material, make instantaneous contributions to class and email me their essays.
There are 2 desktop computers in my room and students are encouraged to use them for any academic purpose during class. Students also use the units under my purview before and after school and at lunch. They check the class web site for assignments and notes, download material for class activities, download and edit videos, crop photos, and check email.
Thus I try to foster a a sense of cooperative inquiry in academic activities - using the tools of the business and academic world.
Students who stray from appropriate and academic sites are banned from the privilage for a week or longer.
At the end of each semester my students must present a brief digital individual portfolio composed of images of samples of:
academic papers, activities in which they participated and photos of themselves and friends.
The classroom digital cameras are available from me upon appropriate request. They go into circulation several times a day. I also check out the *teacher videocam" to students when needed. Also, I have a friend who gives away refurbished computers to families in need; several of my students have gained from his generosity.
Thanks to a program called Louisiana InTech I spent 56 hours in intensive workshop sessions designed to help me guide students in the use of digital tools. Thanks to fluent and generous teacher Mike Rabourn of the Caddo tech team, the sessions were very helpful. Another fellow teacher who's been inspiring and generous with his time and expertise - wireless in my classroom, for instance - is William Bill Knox.