Sunday, February 6, 2011

More technological struggles

I laughed and read that last week was quite a week. And of course this one was as well. Let's face it there are few dull moments when you teach seventh grade.
For instance, I thought I was going to get ahead of things as I brought my brand new MacBook Pro to help demonstrate my students projects on museums that they had visited virtually. Many students were using less technological display methods but a few had power points. Our school laptop is antiquated and we are finally getting a new one and we don't have smartboards like some schools do. We have quite a nice computer lab but in the past we often have had problems with projects students had done at home when we want to show the whole class so I thought I would be on top of things with my new Mac.
Alas, for some reason the computer crashed, froze and had many interesting broken coloured pixils (maybe that isn't the right expression). I didn't even know how to turn my computer off so I ended up in the middle of presentations phoning Applecare. They got everything straightened out but took a few minutes and after all that I still couldn't get Sukhman's powerpoint to work on my computer although it worked on the class computer that I couldn't easily attach to the LCD projector. What can I say?
One thing that I think would be good is getting more of the students do technological workshops for other students and me! Pritha just puts her powerpoints on Utube for instance.
I am finding the trial run of e-book readers interesting. One girl is enjoying reading The Wizard of Oz but is wondering if she can get the book because she's only allowed three weeks with the e-book reader and she doesn't finish she can finish. There is a limited range of books on the readers so that the students have been reading some interesting selections. They seem enthusiastic but seem to still be happily engaged with regular books. My kids kind of love to read anyway so doesn't much matter where or on what. Here's an interesting article about e-books from the New York Times.
Literature Circles continue to be a total hit and I am so impressed by how much the kids are getting out of their various "Egyptian" novels. They are also becoming more skilled in their discussions so hopefully my role will become much less. The love the circles and say that it really is helping them in their understanding. It's interesting because they actually seem to be enjoying their second choice books now more than the first choice ones. I also find it great how they also continue reading other books as well. I like that they have at least two books going at a time.
By the way, I won the Canada Reads books this week when I went to a tribute to Carol Shields this week. I have read two of them but not the other three. Unless and The Birth House are both two of my favorites but I guess I would be voting for Unless.
My adventures on Twitter continue, a whole other series of directions to go. Sometimes it is enough to make you dizzy but did you know Margaret Atwood is doing a reading in Haida Gwaii tonight?

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