This assignment was to come up with an idea for a blog post in my area of interest (which is elementary education) that hadn't been touched on yet already by Dr. Strange. After thinking for a very long time, I decided that it would be important to talk about how to set up and manage a classroom in this technologically advanced world we're living in. Although technology is a great thing, there are certainly some rules and guidelines that should be put in place to ensure myself and my students are using it only for the best reasons.
Write a blog post on how you would arrange and manage your future classroom with the use of technology in mind. What are some rules you would include for your students to follow? How would the classroom be set up? Search for blogs, articles, videos, and other resources that could give you some ideas and provide some of your own.
These sites are a good place to start:
Technology Up to Speed
10 Classroom Technology Policies That Work
Although I do believe my idea of the perfect classroom arrangement will change a thousand times before and after I become a teacher, from my experience thus far I have a pretty good idea of how to do things! To begin with, the front part of my classroom will include nothing besides the whiteboard/SmartBoard, the desks, and an area to turn in work. This is to be sure that my students will be focused on me whenever I need them to be with no other distractions. In the back of the classroom, however, there will be different activities, games, and technology for the students to use depending on what grade I'm teaching. I think it's important to have the technology center close to the teacher desk so that I can monitor what is happening in that area if I'm sitting there. As mentioned in #7 of this article, a teacher bought a shoe rack to hold her students' personal devices. This idea made me think it would be necessary to buy or make something to house the iPads that will most likely be provided for my classroom. This too would be in the technology center near my desk. There will also be a reading center with a full bookshelf and chairs to read in.
Back to the devices that will be in my room, though. With expensive pieces of equipment and the power of the internet, comes great responsibility! For that reason, there will be several rules in place for the use of laptops, iPads, and the SmartBoard. Of course everyone probably knows the basics - no food or drink around them, keep the areas clean, only print when necessary, etc. Besides those, there are other guidelines that should be put into place - some specifically for the students, some as reminders to ourselves as teachers. Some examples I've thought of are as follows:
2. Carry one iPad at a time. No running with them. Hold it tightly with both hands.
3. Students will use only the safe-search engines that they have been provided with.
4. There will be no games unless told otherwise.
5. Do not download any apps without permission (or for the teacher: without reviewing them first).
6. Give the students a lecture and a list of ideas for kind words to be used online. Cyber bullying is a very real thing that I definitely don't want my students to be involved in!
Seeing as this is only a very short list, I know there are some things I have left out.
My point is just that it's really crucial to know what students are doing online, keep them guarded and out of trouble, and also keep our precious devices safe! Just something to keep thinking about over time.