Saturday, February 28, 2009

Observation 4: Classroom Management

I loved a lot of things about my last classroom observation but one of the best parts was a little laptop classroom management detail that was awesome. Laptops do create a management problem. Any tech person who tells you differently is selling snake oil. Any teach who says that they cannot make the change is selling themselves short. Tech people around the country have lost all credibility by telling teachers it will be easier. Maybe some day it will be, but it is always hard work to make a change. Valuable, but hard.

In the class I observed there ware two students who were not using their laptops to work on their Spanish. The teacher, who is very observant, ignored them all hour. I kept wondering what she was going to do. Then, one minute before the bell she went over to them and asked how many videos they had commented on. "Two" and "Three and a half" were their responses. She smiled at them and raised her voice so the whole class could hear, "the rest of these are homework." Several students replied that they were done or close to done.

I assume this was all done in a context. These students needed to be allowed to fail. If they have questions the teacher will answer them outside of class. Hopefully they learned a lesson and enjoyed their time in class as much as they would have at home. There was no way that they did not know they had not used their time wisely.

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