Yes, I’m a techie dork.
Not especially versed in a ton of technology stuff, but the things I do know, I think I do a pretty good job of. The one things I’ve wanted for a while now was the ability to take pictures of student work then Tweet, email, or save that work for later. I’m not a smartphone user and in fact, my cell phone is fairly pathetic. I’m a proud Tracfone user simply because we don’t use our cell that much. Now, as my own children grow into their teen years, that will probably have to be evaluated, but for now, my phone has a rather insignificant camera to it. My youngest daughter has a 4th generation iPod that I’ve eyed for a while, but I’ve been waiting for the next generation of iPod to come out. And waited, and waited!
Well, that updated iPod is finally here, and in fact, sitting beside me now! It’s a little longer, much lighter, much faster, and has a 5 megapixel camera. In the era of 12 – 15 megapixels, it’s not much, but for what I need, it’s perfect. Plus, it’s easy to use, it’s technology I use all ready, and most of all, it offers me that ability to document EVERYTHING! My students only now starting to realize that I’m a documenting monster, taking a lot of notes on many things we do. With the ease of the camera, wow, the door is opened to being able to take a picture of a cool math problem and email it to a parent! How awesome is that??
Anyway, I did something similar to that. We are practicing (and practicing and practicing) multiplication, and I threw out a decimal to see what they’d do. For the most part, they did the problem well, but one little guy solved it, volunteering to show us his thinking. He’d made an error, but a “good” error (my students get tired of hearing that too – “How can my mistake be good??”) on this problem, one I’d hoped someone would make. I took a picture of the problem and tweeted it out:
We just posed the statement: The computation on this problem is right, but the product is not. Why doesn’t this work? I’ve gotten one response back, and I’ll probably tweet it out again, but I’ll show that answer to the students on Monday, and we’ll see what they said compared to what we discussed that day. How real can you get? Other classrooms working on our problems?? How cool is this?
Anyway, tech stuff is cool and fun, but when used correctly, wow, you can make that collaboration happen on a much more grand scale. What student wouldn’t get excited about that? Heck, what teacher wouldn’t either?? 🙂