Throughout the first half of this class I have been teaching a ‘blended’ classroom for the first time as we implement 1:1 program for our Grade 10 students. They all have a Chromebook to use in all of their classes that they sign out at the start of the day and return at the end. The next step of this project is that they should be able to take their Chromebooks home with them.
I think this project is great and I am totally on board for the blended learning environment. What I think was missed was the ASSUMPTION that our students know how to use the technology handed to them- and that they know how to use it appropriately. I feel as though the assumption was made that they know how to do these things because they are the tools of their generation. What I think was missed was the opportunity to teach a captive audience some of the dos and don’ts of being a digital citizen.
Most of the students have figured out the basic functioning of the Chromebooks are are able to use them to do their daily tasks. Many of us have worked to build the instruction in to our existing classes, but there are still noticeable gaps- especially for weaker students that have been unable to learn to function in a new, online learning environment and keep up with the regular class content as well.
As educators I think that we need to be careful of the assumption that digital residents don’t need to be educated in the online world. I mean- we still teach English to our English speaking students, why is this any different? If we spread the job to too many shoulders none will carry the load.