Our first day back from winter break was a little bit like Christmas for us. We returned today to a brand new cart (which takes up far less space than our old one) filled with 20 (for my 20 students) brand new laptops. We’ve had enough laptops all year to be 1 to 1, but they were old and wonky. Several of them couldn’t handle wireless and had to remain attached to the router at all times. We made it work but today was beautiful.
Every student now has a computer with their name on it. To try them out today (and get used to handling them, getting them out of the cart, putting them away, etc.) we started off using Wixie. For about 20 minutes we just played around, trying to see what we could do or what we remembered from previous years.
Then we used Wixie to create a goal for 2017. When these are all finished I can put them into a slideshow to share on our class blog for families to enjoy. And if I desperately feel I need to hang them up in the hall, I can print them out.
We’ve done work this year in our Google Apps for Education world, but not a ton. The kids have typed one story up to publish it. They’ve done a fractions activity in Google Classroom (more a glorified worksheet than anything else, to be honest). After 8 years in kinder and first grade I’m having to work hard to use our computers well. We’ll get VoiceThread up and rolling soon, something I’ve wanted to do all year but our computers wouldn’t record. I set up our class blog so the students can post to it. And we’ll use Wixie more now.
I am officially in a 1 to 1 situation and I want to use it well. If you have recommendations or ideas for powerful use of laptops for third graders, I would love to hear them.