Written By: Jenne Parks
Publish Date: Jun 9, 2016
A couple weeks ago, I went on a mission... a seemingly simple mission; a 'big picture' mission that I hoped would lead me to a better understanding of how teachers are successfully using technology in their classrooms. Shortly after I began my mission, I realized I was approaching things from a 'big picture' perspective when what I really needed was to focus on the many components that make up the big picture...
The first classroom I observed was more of a non-example in that the handheld devices were stored in a locked teacher's closet; a closet that children waited almost 15 minutes for their teacher to unlock (and thereby shortening a 20 minute session to merely 5 minutes). My notes from this classroom left me wondering how the technology could be stored in a way that would ensure children can maximize their time with the valuable learning devices...Lucky for me, the next several classrooms I observed employed some very effective methods!
For example, in one classroom, the teacher stored her handheld devices in simple tote-bags that hung from child-level hooks (the hooks were near an outlet with a power strip for easy access to charging) and included a set of headphones for each child's use. When the class transitioned from recess to learning centers, 4 children had powered on their technology in less than 2 minutes!
Another classroom employed the use of a heavy duty plastic dish rack...If I had heard of this method before I saw it in action, I would have expected something of an eyesore, but I would have been wrong! This teacher used binder clips to attach a power strip to the side of the dish rack and headphones sat astride the devices. This storage method enabled the first 2 children to begin playing less than 3 minutes after they left circle time; the 3rd and 4th children took approximately 5 minutes to begin their play time.
Finally, another classroom I visited used 'over-the-chair' storage sacks to store the handheld devices. The teacher in this room admitted she hadn't quite figured out how to store and charge the devices simultaneously, but she did like having the devices stored in a way that allowed for space as the children head into their 'tech time'. I was unable to observe the children transitioning into tech time, but the over-the-chair sacks provided enough space for headphones and the technology device.
As you can see, this small sampling of teachers are employing creativity, innovation and smarts in order to ensure success for technology; what 'tricks of the trade' work best for you? We want to hear from you! When your kids end the day, where do your tablets stay? Follow the instructions below and join us on Pinterest to share your ideas!