Yesterday was the day that I committed to myself and, more importantly, to my students that we were going to have our Health & Career Education class in the computer lab. I’d been planning this since the summer, but it just hadn’t happened yet. The students were ready, but I wasn’t quite ready, but I knew it was time.
I took both of the classes I teach into the lab for our time together. They were introduced to our Edmodo site (which I am still learning about). I had them take a “quiz” about their learning thus far. I told them that this wasn’t their usual “quiz” that they were used to. This “quiz” would give me the opportunity to see what they have learned so far, what we need to review/reteach/teach in another way and if we can move on to our next topic. They hadn’t “studied”. They didn’t look in their notebooks for answers (not sure why I didn’t let them do that).
The students were excited and motivated to do the quiz because they knew they were going to have the opportunity to explore our Edmodo site when they were finished. Edmodo turned out to be very user-friendly. It was easy to sign on and easy to do and submit the quiz. There were no problems at all.
After they finished the “quiz” the real fun (and learning) began. The kids started exploring. They started asking me questions about how to do things: change their profile picture, if they could use a different picture than was on the Edmodo site, and how to do this. I gave them free rein basically (of course, no violence or inappropriate pictures). They went with it.
When they asked me how to do something I would just tell them, “I don’t know, but I’m sure you can figure it out.” And they did. I had many students ask me things, but I kept telling them that they could figure it out because I had no idea. I didn’t. I really don’t know this site well at all. Could I have figured it out for them, sure, but what would that have taught them really? They asked friends, they shared, they laughed, they learned. They learned on their own. They learned together. They had fun!
Yes, some were silly. Writing “Hi” about 20 times on our “wall”. Over the last day and a half, students have been on and off of our site constantly. Many of the students signed in at home and wrote messages for their classmates, “Is anyone on right now?” Some of the students seem desperate for a connection with their classmates. I have received many personal messages saying that they can’t wait until the next class, that they love our class, etc… They are excited. They can’t wait to see what else they will learn, how else they will get to use technology in their learning.
To help the students (maybe) move from the “HI HI HI HI HI” messages they are currently writing, I have written a message to both of the classes. In this message, I asked them to write down what healthy foods they eat this weekend. I also asked them to write down any physical activity they participate in over the weekend. While the playful, silliness has to happen for the students to learn, I am attempting to try to focus their conversations a bit on the topics of Health and Career Ed. and what we have been learning over the past month. We’ll have to wait to see if they take that challenge.
Overall, I am very pleased with how things went yesterday in the lab and how they continue to develop since the students were introduced to this site.
I am still a bit nervous, but my students enthusiasm and love for learning is trumping any nervousness I may continue to feel.