I like the idea of using technology the very first day of class, as mentioned in an EduDemic blog.
However, I feel using a smartphone “app that lets anyone set up scavenger hunts anywhere they want is too chaotic for the first day.” As the blogger says in the first line, it’s already “a nerve-wracking and difficult process.” I think too many complications would arise. Plus, it might easily alienate those who can’t afford a smartphone.
Thus, I created the following list of ways Technology Can Help Your First Day Of School:
- Showing off your PLN. It adds validity and creditability to your teaching methods if students see that you are connected with hundreds of other dedicated teachers. As a bonus, it may just give them the impression you are a “hip” teacher who has lots of friends.
- Showing off a slide show of the cool pics you uploaded on you Facebook page. I traveled to Normandy, France this summer. My students EAT UP anything about WWII, so I am sure to show off me standing in front of a Sherman tank and the thousand of American soldiers’ graves. Make sure you don’t have anything inappropriate about you or your friends (see: Ten Commandments for Teachers on the Web)
- Giving a sneak peek of the amazing, new websites you found during the summer. I can’t wait to show my students “animated maps and battles in American History” Classzone
- Viewing an introductory movie you filmed of yourself. Something short, sweet, and age appropriate. Upload it and give students the URL so they can show their parents who their amazing, tech savvy new teacher is.
- Presenting a PowerPoint you made as an introductory about your class and/or yourself. Students are so nervous about the upcoming year. Why not demystify your class with a syllabus right up front? Why should only colleges use a syllabus? Maybe show the work done by last year’s class. Make sure you say, “Your work will be EVEN BETTER than theirs!”
- If you had a lot of time with them you could set up each student with their own blog and have them start reading and writing.
Most importantly, on the first day you must have students writing and reading, and generally engaging in whatever type of work you expect them to be doing throughout the entire year. It is essential students have the expectation they will be working every second they are in your classroom
Footnote: After writing this post I came across a Sardine Blog that used a Twitter survey to discover the 5 top technologies teachers will be using in their classes this upcoming year. I am glad to say this helpful blog only reinforces what I say above.
Copyright © 2010 David Mach