Featured Post

Framing the Issue of the Digital Divide in Education

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Teaching in the Digital Divide: Classroom 2 of 3

How do teachers lesson plan when teaching in a digital divide?

Case Study 2:  A device rich class with limited home broadband access.

Technology can create great classroom opportunities for students that did not previously exist.  It can be engaging, compelling, collaborative, and transformative.  However, access outside of the classroom (or lack thereof) shapes how teachers plan and teach.   Over the past several years, more and more schools have purchased technology for individual classrooms, and other schools have carts of computers for checkout.  In many districts, Title 1 schools have access to funds and grants which allow the purchase of technology.  In these schools, though, many students might not have access to broadband internet at home.  Essentially, this means that a teacher can plan for engaging activities using technology in the classroom, but will often limit homework assignments that require outside devices and access.

When each student has a device within a classroom, a teacher can start a class by posting an agenda or writing prompt in a learning management system (LMS) like Google Classroom or Canvas.   If a teacher does not have access to an LMS, they can still post a question or a prompt and have students keep a running document of responses to opening questions.  Many teachers will use Dropbox or Google Drive to collect writing prompts.

In addition to opening the class with a prompt or question, teachers can also use free web based programs like "Goformative" or a Google form to pose a formative question so assess student understanding.  This, of course, could shape the lesson for the day:  if students have mastered a concept, the teacher might choose to spend less time on that and more time on a question/prompt where greater numbers of students had difficulty.   At the end of a class period, teachers can also opt to integrate programs like "exitticket" in order to assess where students are and what types of lessons/instruction students need for the next class period.  Teachers can show the "whole class" results of an exit ticket to get students to reflect on how the class is doing and what concepts have been mastered as well as which ones need more attention.

In addition to formative assessments and exit tickets, classrooms that are device rich can also use devices for student collaboration.  Working simultaneously on a project (presentation, mock trial prep, peer editing protocol) teaches team building skills and gives students an immediate audience.  If the majority of students don't have broadband access at home, then assigning them to work on electronic projects will not yield good results.  However, teachers can still assign some short writing prompts, lab reports, math problems to prep students for a formative assessment at the start of class the following day.

Click the link below to visit a resource page for the Device Rich Class 

1 comment:

  1. These are some really useful suggestion, when looking at the issue of working around and understanding the implications of a digital divide.