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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sometimes You Know You are Doing the Right Thing

In all of my classes we are currently having our students prepare for their final exams that begin in about 5 days. In my Applied Math 20 class I had two students request to borrow a laptop out of the cart to study for their final. I was curious what they were going to use the laptop for.

So, I said "Why do you want to borrow a laptop?"

Their response was, "I have lost some of my notes and my binder is really disorganized. I want to use the laptop to go to the class wiki and look at the notes you have posted. They are really organized well and I will be able to more easily study the material for the final exam."

I immediately got each of them a laptop.

Inside of me I had the biggest smile!!!! These two students made my day. They "get" why we have a class wiki and they were going to use it to help themselves out. Hopefully, the other students around them see how these two students are using the class wiki and make use of everything I have posted on it.

If you can check out the class wiki here.

These two students are living proof of why I use class wikis. It is because it "helps" students. Sometimes you just know you are doing the right thing.

How My Daughters Learn and Work

This past Christmas we decided to get our two daughters a Macbook Pro as a gift. My daughters are definitely digital natives. They both have an iPod Touch that they use everywhere and they were continually borrowing mine or my wife's Macbook Pro.

So, a couple of days ago my youngest daughter, Sarah, said, "Dad, can I take my Macbook Pro to school to use in class?"

My first question was, "Don't you have carts of Macbooks at school that you can use?".

Her response was, "Yes, we have carts of Macbooks but our teachers NEVER let us use them!!"

I discussed this with her a little. She informed me that most of the teachers are either scared of using the Macbooks with their students or just do not want to bother. Interesting!!

I told my daughter that I would have to check with the Director of Technology (a good friend of mine) and her principal before I allowed her to take her Macbook Pro to school. I am all for letting her take her Macbook Pro to school as that is a TOOL she uses to learn and work. Why would I not let her use it at school!!!!

I did not want to step on any toes by just letting her take her Macbook to school.

I e-mailed the Director of Technology to see if he was OK with having my daughter bring her Macbook to school. He e-mailed me back and informed me that they are just adjusting the network at school to allow student owned devices on it. He asked me to wait a few weeks. Once things are functioning he will get back to me and things are a go.

Nice to see my daughters school district is preparing to let student owned devices be used at school.

I am very glad to see that my daughter is asking to use the tools she is most comfortable with to assist her in her learning. This skill of advocating for herself is going to be very useful in later life.