Tips for 1:1 Technology

Do you have technology in your classroom? Are you struggling to figure out how to use them effectively? Are you using them just for games? Check out this post for 8 tips all about implementing devices in your classroom. Oh and there is a BONUS tip too!
I want to share some tips on how you can start to implement 1:1 technology in your classroom. This post applies to anyone currently with 1:1 technology (you can always try new strategies at the beginning of the school year), anyone that has at least one student device in your classroom, anyone that will be soon getting devices in their classroom! Here are eight tips to get you rolling...

#1: Trust and have faith in your students. One of the most common mistakes that I see in classrooms is teachers not thinking their kids can "handle" using a device. YOU ARE WRONG. Technology use is so prevalent outside of school, you need not worry about if they "can do it". Another huge part of this is having trust in your students. Kids understand how they need to treat electronics, what things they should be doing on them and what they shouldn't be doing. Yep... you will have a kid or two that tries to "trick" you. Showing your students from the beginning that you trust them to make good choices will empower them to do so.

#2: Have a plan on how you want your students to save/share their work. If you are having students complete projects or assignments on their device, they need a way to save it and send it to you. This can be as simple as taking a screenshot and sending it to you or posting their video on YouTube. Another common way for students to save/share assignments is by using google drive. Figure out how you want students to save and share from the beginning. After doing it a few times they will be pros.

#3: Use your resources students. Everyone has a student or two that just catch on quickly to everything you are doing. Have you realized that these students can also phrase your directions in a way that you would have never considered? Have you realized that these students can teach other students what you are trying to have them do? Have you realized that these students take pride in being able to "one up" the teacher? I call these kids my Tech Advisors. They are our go-to kids if we are struggling. Keeps the questions to a minimum!

#4: Establish a routine. When do you plan on using the devices? Try to pick at least one time throughout the day that you can begin using them daily. Then add in more and more time. This will transition students into using the devices regularly.

#5: The devices are not just for "free time". Yep, kids love and beg for free time on the devices. The only problem with that is then they are always asking for it, trying to rush through an assignment to get it, or playing games instead of the assignment/app that you wanted them to be doing. Moderate free choice time and set it up from the very beginning as something that your class needs to "earn".

#6: Get it organized in the beginning. This is crucial. You need to figure out how students will get their devices in the morning or during the specific part of the day that you use them. Figure out how students will put them away (will you have a "tech clean-up crew" who plug in all the devices to charge). Decide your signals for power on/power off so that you do not have to repeat yourself over and over.

#7: Write tech rules. We start every school year by writing our classroom rules and discussing them over and over and over. With this new change (devices in the classroom) students need to know your expectations from the beginning. It can be hard to know what rules you are going to need but students can generally write some that are "catch-alls". {Address using both hands to carry it, careful touching of the screen, have clean/dry hands when using, iPad jobs- not free time and iPad sleeps while teacher is talking.}

#8: Students can share. If you do not have devices for all of your students or even if you do, students can share devices! It helps to build communication and leadership skills, responsible behavior and teamwork. Plus, some assignments turn out so much better with two kids collaborating together! {Did I mention... they like to share with each other... because they do!}

Bonus Tip: Establish a signal for your students to turn their devices face down (if you have cases that flip shut this would work great for that too). In our classroom, I say "devices flipped in 30" (this gives them plenty of time to save what they are doing, close any open apps and have their device flipped face down on their desk. I will start to count down at 10 and 99% of the time all of my students have their iPads face down by the time I hit 3! They know that my expectations and they always close out quickly.

I hope these tips help you out, there will be more coming as I continue down this 1:1 journey in the next few months! Pin the image below to reference this list later or share with your friends!

Do you have technology in your classroom? Are you struggling to figure out how to use them effectively? Are you using them just for games? Check out this post for 8 tips all about implementing devices in your classroom. Oh and there is a BONUS tip too!

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