Friday, October 24, 2014

Tech Squad and eLearning


Last week, I presented at the ICE conference on the topic of Organized Chaos. What is Organized Chaos you ask? Attempting to maintain a 1:1 technology environment with primary students.

This became very relevant this week as we will be doing a district-wide eLearning day. The students will be taking devices home with content downloaded onto them. This might not be too much of a problem with second graders on up, but for kindergarten and first grade, it requires a lot of time on the teacher's part. Many teachers resort to just accomplishing the task for themselves. However, I'm a big fan of "using your resources."

To help kindergarten get ready for eLearning, fifth grade students placed the apps needed for the day into an eLearning folder, downloaded videos to the photos, and made separate albums for the videos so that the students do not get them mixed up with photos/videos that they may have taken themselves. Even with with five helpers, it still took over an hour to download all the content to the devices and get the materials organized for two kindergarten classes.


Last year, I implemented a "tech team" that probably wasn't quite as organized as I need it to be. (My flyer from last year can be viewed here.) It was the first year that I tried it. This year, I plan on creating a tech team again. They will have one main role: help primary teachers maintain their devices. Their responsibilities will include: 
  1. Cleaning 
  2. Charging
  3. Checking and maintaining name labels
  4. Checking and maintaining organization of apps
  5. Checking and maintaining student backgrounds (We like to use designated backgrounds in our district) 
  6. Preparing devices for eLearning days
I think this year I will create a work schedule so that they give up one recess a week. This will reduce the burden. I will also plan on training the students thoroughly the first few weeks. That way all students know exactly what is expected and can accomplish the tasks as efficiently as possible. 

Have a suggestion? Comment below.