I made a rookie mistake this week while completing an assignment. I had finished my assignment and submitted with 15 minutes to spare. I did not check my submission  to see if I had entered the correct file (mistake no. 1). I then printed out the submission evidence and decided not to print out the assignment then because I was tired and decided to do it the next day (mistake no. 2). The next day I opened the folder where the assignment was supposed to be and it is not there! What I have is the draft from 2 days earlier!! Panic stations!! Mistake no. 3 I did not back up the file on anything else. The outcome is another 2 days work to redo it. This time I checked and saved numerous times before, during and after submitting. Word of warning to other students – do not get blase about saving or backing up your work.

The Perfect School

I came across a site called ‘The school I’d like’ where children wrote about their ideas of a perfect school. A couple of the ideas involved using dogs at school – one idea is for children to read aloud to a dog and the other is for them to be there as a friend. The school I am currently working in has begun using what they call a ‘therapy dog’ who goes to classes and provides a calming effect on the children who are maybe anxious or agitated about something. The dog provides companionship and tactile therapy.

I initially went to the site to explore a method of engaging students in multi-modal projects in the classroom by having students blog or respond in an online medium which could be accessed by a global audience.

No, I Wasn’t Right!

In response to Christine Peterson’s blog titled “Were you right?” I picked the correct answer to the question (red) but the wrong answer to what the student would answer. My initial thoughts were around which one looked bigger, the green, but settled for what I know about area after spending too much time thinking about it. It did not even occur to me to think great, greater, greatest at all! I would like to ask, why would young people think along that line of thought?

Phones – Plus or Minus?

Mobile phones are everywhere. Are they a plus or a minus? It seems anyone young and old either have their own or are given one to use or play with. When considering its use with young people, it can create real problems. There is keeping up with the Jones’ – IPhone 5 > 6 > ?, there is the abusing of the ‘plan’ running up huge bills (if you aren’t smart enough to be on a prepaid plan), and let’s not forget the prevalence of misuse during class time!!

Yes my school, a High School, has a veto on using electronic devices in class, but every lesson sees students communicating via Facebook and texting with so and so or taking selfies. There is the constant response, “Put it away!” What about giving up on trying to get students to bring a calculator to maths? Just bring your phones everybody. I think they will be in trouble when it comes to doing algebra or any other higher maths though.

I wonder how it would work if the use of phones was incorporated into lessons more, such as photographic evidence for a task which could be emailed to the teacher for their assessment?? Ipods or playing music on phones and surreptitiously listening to it with those dangling growths (earphones) is another one of  those persistent annoyances. I have, however, had a rethink about music playing during class in particular circumstances. I work with students on the Autistic Spectrum and it is quite common for these students to need something to filter out distractions to allow them to focus better, or, as a way of calming themselves when they are stressed. So I have pulled back a bit with these students to see if they will work better, and not make their own (very loud) noise instead!

I suppose it will always be a bit of both – plus and minus. But maybe we could encourage students to use their phones in more useful ways, and trust them to do it. And remember, you tell a teenager NOT to do something, and they hear DO IT! Sorry for the stereotyping teenagers.