Classroom management is a challenging area of teaching for new and more veteran teachers alike. Student seating, expectations for behavior, and routines for the classroom are something every teacher considers before the start of school each year. Now that Chromebooks and iPads are becoming a normal piece of most classrooms; have you stopped to think about how technology, specifically, figures into your classroom management plan? “Classrooms once featuring paper, pencils, and textbooks as the main teaching resources have evolved into spaces where each student can hold a device in his hands allowing him to download more information than a physical library can hold” (Dowd and Green). This has created an interesting challenge for teachers. Where do Chromebooks and iPads fit in to the classroom management landscape?
There are a few steps any classroom teacher can take to fold technology seamlessly into the classroom management of their room, whether they are new to the devices or they’ve been 1:1 for years.
1. Teach your procedures!
Every August (and probably the beginning of every term!), you review how to do common tasks in your classroom.
Whether it’s about coming to class prepared, your bathroom policy, late work, sharpening pencils, or anything else that requires repeated, explicit instruction. Device procedures are no different.
What are devices doing during the first few minutes of your class? In some classrooms, warm-ups are completed online. In others, Chromebooks stay under desks until the teacher says otherwise. Where do you stand?
Some procedures to consider teaching with devices next term:
2. Think about expectations and norms
What happens when a student forgets to charge their device or leaves their Chromebook at home? This might be a larger conversation to be had with your grade level or your school as a whole; but it is definitely something that WILL happen and should be planned for.
By having shared expectations, students will understand that the rules are the rules in EVERY room and won’t need to guess what is expected of them in each class. Also, consider how the students will learn this information. A device “boot camp” for all students to complete before using their device is a great way to ensure students have had exposure to the expectations.
Expectations to discuss at your school or with your team:
3. how will devices will be utilized during lessons?
It can be overwhelming to consider how much teaching has changed over the past 5 years. The majority of teachers in the classroom today were not trained in college about how to integrate technology into their lesson plans. However, as TechforEd devices roll up through the grade levels, tech rich lesson expectations are only going to increase!
A helpful way to think about updating or changing your current lessons to accommodate technology is to consult the SAMR model.
Need a refresher on SAMR?
Here’s a quick video on Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.
No one is expected to spend all their time in the Redefinition area. Sometimes Substitution makes the most sense! But for deeper learning, Substitution cannot be the ONLY way of bringing technology into your lessons.
Technology can be a powerful tool to engage your students in the content of your course.
But don't throw out what you already know about best practices in lesson planning! The essence of a lesson can get lost when we plan for the tool before the standards.
Begin with outcomes! For instance, if you are teaching a lesson on dialogue in your ELA classroom, perhaps a WeVideo or Soundtrap would be good digital tools so that you can hear/see their work in action!
Consider your content and the thinking you’re asking from your students, then choose the tool that makes the most sense.
With intentional and proactive planning, technology in the classroom need not be a classroom management nightmare!
Need more guidance or have questions not covered here? Contact your Ed Tech Specialist!
Additional Resources: Classroom Management in the Digital Age by Heather Dowd and Patrick Green