In addition, most public and school libraries provide free WiFi access as well as device access and there may be other resources in your community such as Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, houses of worship and other organizations that provide access for community members. Most schools ascribe to one of three strategies:. Students should have no expectation of privacy on machines owned by the school. No matter which program the school follows, you will likely want your teen to have their own device eventually.
When you are ready to purchase a device for your child, the choices can be overwhelming. You do not have to spend a great deal of money for your child to have access to the programs and resources they need for school. Options include refurbished and used devices, machines from family members, Macs, Windows PCs, inexpensive Google Chromebooks and, in some cases, tablets equipped with keyboards. Once your child is using your family devices and home internet, there are approaches you can use to ensure that they are having a positive educational experience using edtech.
And, just as there are great and not-so-great books, the same can be said for edtech tools. At the end of the day, the purpose of tech is to enhance — not replace — the interaction between the teacher and students as well as among the students and parents and fellow students. All stakeholders — administrators, policy boards, teachers, vendors, parents, and students — will be required to re-think their role in the ecosystem we call education. Transitions can be stressful, but they can also be exhilarating and lead to new opportunities and great results. Thanks to technology, students have an opportunity to learn from an almost infinite number of sources and delivery styles, ranging from ebooks and articles, to videos, podcasts, infographics and immersive virtual reality experiences.
Likewise, students can now demonstrate their mastery of the material not just by doing well on tests or papers, but also by creating all forms of media to share with their teacher, their classmates or — with proper attention to privacy, security and intellectual property rights — the entire world. But these are all choices — not requirements. Students should be encouraged to think about their own comfort zones when it comes to privacy and their own definition of community. We should not be afraid of change but we should not accept change just for its own sake.
A bad lesson enhanced with a computer is still a bad lesson. Out-of-date or inaccurate information is just as inappropriate when delivered electronically than when delivered in print or through a lecture. And tests or papers that fail to truly challenge your student or accurately evaluate their progress are just as inadequate when delivered via a screen and keyboard than they are with pencil and paper. And it is also useful to think about the future.
Someday, artificial intelligence may help educators design highly personalized lesson plans. Virtual reality is already starting to bring the world to our students and that — along with augmented reality which superimposes computer images on the real world — may someday become as commonplace as books and blackboards were for us. And while it might not be possible to keep up with all the changes in technology, we all have the ability and the responsibility to guide our children in how to approach whatever tools are put in front of them in a healthy and positive way.
Technology and even teaching styles change, but curiosity, thirst for knowledge, ethics, and personal responsibility are constants. What are the advantages of edtech? Every tool can be misused, overused or used inefficiently, and edtech is no exception. In addition, calling on all the students in your class—rather than a select few—will help keep students on task and decrease the number of behavior problems. It is important that you monitor yourself to be certain that you are providing all of your students with response opportunities.
Putting a check by the name of each student you call on during class discussions is an excellent way to quickly determine whether you are being equitable. Also, you should monitor yourself to make certain you are not calling exclusively on your high-achieving students but also on students who have a pattern of not performing well.
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Keeping a simple checklist on a clipboard during classroom discussions is a great strategy you can easily implement. Figure 1. In this example, you can see that Donna and Sam are getting the majority of the response opportunities. This could be because the teacher has confidence in these students, knows that calling on them will keep the discussion moving, and wants the other students to hear the correct answers.
However, it also could lead the other students to think that the teacher doesn't have confidence in them and doesn't expect them to participate, and it increases the likelihood that they will get off task. If you were the teacher, you would want to be sure that before the end of the discussion you called on all your students so as to make the discussion more equitable.
Donna Dawson:. Sam Smith:. Try to make an effort to call on students who have typically been off task or who have been achieving at a low level, allowing them to respond and participate in class, and watch what happens.
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Over time, you will notice that these students will remain on task more often and improve academically! This change does not occur immediately, but it definitely does occur and is extremely gratifying to see. Increasing latency Kerman et al. Latency is the amount of time that elapses between the moment you give a student a response opportunity and the moment you terminate the response opportunity. Kerman and colleagues explain that the amount of time we give to students to answer questions is directly related to the level of expectation we have for them.
We give more time to students when we have confidence in their ability to answer a question. Conversely, we give less time to students in whom we have little confidence. When you quickly give up on a student who is struggling with a response, it is clear to everyone in the classroom that you don't expect him or her to come up with the right answer.
What you will find when you make a conscious effort to extend the length of latency you allow for low-achieving students is that these students will begin to pay more attention, become more actively involved in discussions, and minimize their behavior issues. One thing you can do is ask a teaching peer to observe your instruction and chart the length of the latency periods you are giving each student from the time you ask the question until you move on to another student. It is especially interesting to find out which students get longer latency periods from you.
Latency Chart in Seconds Paul Brown: 1, 3. In analyzing the chart, it is easy to see that Donna and Mary are consistently given more latency and, therefore, more chances to give a correct response than are the other students. If this were your classroom, you could try to make sure that in future discussions and question-and-answer periods you give longer latency periods to other students as well before moving on. You also communicate positive expectations by giving hints and clues to your students.
It is important that we communicate to all our students that we have high expectations for their success, and one way to do this is by giving more hints and clues to all students, especially the low-performing students. Think about a reading lesson in which a student struggles to sound out a word. There are things to be cautious about when using this technique. If you provide too many hints and clues, you may actually give the student the answer.
Also, after a number of hints, it may be that the only student who doesn't know the answer is the one being called on, which ends up being an embarrassing experience. The important point, however, is to use hints and clues with all students to communicate that you have high expectations for the entire class. This helps build positive teacher-student relations. Another way to communicate positive expectations to students is by directly telling them they have the ability to do well. When you tell your students you have confidence that they can handle a difficult assignment or improve their behavior, you impart a very powerful message.
Students often will work hard and behave appropriately to prove that your confidence in them is justified. Every child needs to have at least one significant adult in his or her life who believes that he or she can do well. Ideally, children would hear this from their parents, but the sad truth is that is not always the case. Teachers have the unique opportunity and privilege to communicate daily to a number of students that they believe in them.
What a gift to be able to be that significant adult in even one student's life. You've been working very hard on remembering to write down your thinking as you solve math problems, and I know you can transfer that skill to this test. I'll check back with you later. Once again, this is a positive relations strategy as well as an instructional strategy. You can also let students know that you have positive expectations for them by referring to past successes Kerman et al. When you tell a student that you know he will behave appropriately at recess because he was successful yesterday, you help build confidence in the student and increase his chance for success.
And after a student demonstrates good behavior or academic achievement in a specific situation, telling her you knew she would be successful Kerman et al. Students need to know that their teachers respect them and have confidence in them. Using these different strategies to consistently communicate your positive expectations will work wonders.
We challenge you to begin using one or two of these strategies today to build high expectations and positive teacher-student relations. Correcting and disciplining students for inappropriate behaviors is a necessary and important part of every teacher's job. However, it doesn't have to be a negative part of your job.
In fact, you can actually build positive relationships when you correct students. If you don't believe this, think for just a minute about students you have had in the past who came back to school to visit you. Often it is the students who were the most challenging and with whom you had to spend the most time who continue to visit you over the years.
Part II: Communicating Important Information
This is due to the positive relationships you developed with them. The goal in correcting students should be to have them reflect on what they did, be sorry that they disappointed you, and make a better choice in the future. I'm going to be sure I don't get caught next time. If you allow students to keep their dignity, you increase the chance that they will reflect on their behavior and choose their behaviors more wisely in the future.
The correction process will be counterproductive if students are corrected in a manner that communicates bitterness, sarcasm, low expectations, or disgust. The goal is to provide a quick, fair, and meaningful consequence while at the same time communicating that you care for and respect the student. Steps to Use When Correcting Students Review what happened Identify and accept the student's feelings Review alternative actions Explain the building policy as it applies to the situation Let the student know that all students are treated the same Invoke an immediate and meaningful consequence Let the student know you are disappointed that you have to invoke a consequence to his or her action Communicate an expectation that the student will do better in the future.
Imagine that Johnny hit Sam because Sam called his mother a name. This is how you could put these disciplinary steps in place: Review what happened. Discuss the incident with Johnny. Begin with fact finding to be sure that you are appropriately correcting the student. The worst way to affect teacher-student relationships is to unfairly discipline a student. Identify and accept the student's feelings.
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Tell Johnny that you understand why it upset him to hear somebody call his mother a name and that you, too, would be upset if someone maligned your mother. It's important to understand that this step communicates that you respect and understand his feelings but that you are not accepting his actions. Review alternative actions. Go over with Johnny the different actions he could have taken, such as ignoring the remark or reporting it to a teacher.
Explain the building policy as it applies to the situation. Remind Johnny of the building policy of not fighting and that the rule is if anyone hits another student, he or she will be sent to the office and possibly be suspended from school. Let the student know that all students are treated the same.
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Make sure that Johnny understands that all students must adhere to the policy and that any student who disregards the rule will suffer the consequences. Invoke an immediate and meaningful consequence. Communicate with the office about what happened and send Johnny to the office. Let the student know you are disappointed that you have to invoke a consequence to his or her action. Tell Johnny that you are disappointed that his actions have led to this situation.
Communicate an expectation that the student will do better in the future. Remind Johnny that, although you do not approve of his actions and do not like to send him or any student to the office, you like him and know that he will make a better choice next time. Also tell him that you are there to support him and work through these issues with him in the future.
In addition to your following these steps when correcting a student, it is important to keep some key philosophical precepts in mind. First of all, remember to correct the student in a private location. Although it is not always possible to remove a student from the classroom, do your best to prevent visual access by other students as you discipline.
Public correction can foster feelings of anger, embarrassment, and bitterness; it can also become a sideshow for the other students. Finally, remember to stay calm and avoid frustration. The worst thing you can do is to invoke a consequence when you are angry or upset, as this can lead to regrettable actions on your part. It is also important to follow certain steps after disciplining a student.
These steps are shown in Figure 1. Steps to Follow After Disciplining a Student Touch base with the student Acknowledge postdisciplinary successes Don't give up too quickly. The students also get a kick out of reading what their parents wrote about them. This year our PTO provided grilled hotdogs and drinks for parents and families before Open House actually started. One of my colleagues provided chocolate chip cookies and milk for her parents.
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Free food is always a winner! Parents are also encouraged to join the PTO and SIC which is fabulous for establishing and building a positive parent and school relationship. When parents enter my classroom, I present a simple PowerPoint. All you need is a computer and projector.
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I create slides on: Who I am tidbits about myself-family, education, experience, etc. So much time is devoted to students who are not doing what they are suppose to that students who perform well do not receive adequate praise. Plan a Writing Night Besides the common methods of communicating with parents, I plan a Writing Night each semester as a fun way to share my curriculum and give parents a peek into our classroom. Choose an evening after work for parents for your event. An hour or even 45 minutes will probably be plenty of time to have some fun with this. Provide snacks, everyone loves to eat.
Offer suggestions on how parents can encourage their child to write. For example, you could have the parent and student analyze the strengths and weaknesses in a piece of writing and how would they correct it. Take questions. Utilize Technology Whenever Possible Parents and teachers both are extremely busy, so I use technology to stay in touch emails, Web page, homework hotline, and our parent portal that allows them to access student grades via a computer.
Of course, not all parents have access to technology, so I provide the same information in different written formats. Some of my fellow teachers include a lot more information on their Web sites and update them daily. I do not have time to change my site every day so I keep it simple but meaningful — do what works for you. Distribute this version to parents during Open House. To make it easy, I create an address book for each class period, so I am really only sending one email out per period.
Parents have to have an email address in order to access system. In order to stay in touch with parents, I look for other ways to get them to stop by. For example, they are welcome to come in and observe me teaching.