(Educational use of tablets) Classroom management

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Continuation of the file… The winning conditions 1 to 3, in connection with the management of the class.

1. Have the courage to change your classroom management

One of the biggest changes the tablet brings is to encourage teachers to redefine the way they do things.

As the tablet is an expensive tool, school budgets generally do not allow it to be in the hands of all students. To date, special 1-to-1 ratio programs in some high schools are not the most popular deployment model. Few schools also allow students to bring their own digital device (BYOD) and who have adapted their practices in this direction. In fact, in most schools in Quebec, teachers sometimes have a fleet of tablets available by reservation or, often, one or a few for the whole class.

Regardless of the deployment model chosen, the “everyone is doing the same task at the same time” model is bound to evolve. Regardless of the technological skills of the teachers, the educational challenges remain the same: to successfully integrate tablets into the classroom, we must do otherwise and transform the learning activities of the students.

2. Work in workshops

Few tablets in the classroom? Work in workshops makes it possible to deal with this reality. Teachers who are already followers of this pedagogy will quickly have new projects in mind for students to experience and tablets will be among the tools to develop their skills.

Those who have not taken a step in this direction, and there are probably still many, may find the transition from book to tablet more difficult. Recent works of the Canada Research Chair in Technologies in Education, mention that "making projects" is at 7e rank out of 10 of the activities carried out in class by the pupils using the touchscreen tablet, well behind Internet research, games and taking class notes.

“Teachers are used to teaching traditionally,” observes Julie Noël, educational consultant in the integration of ICT at the Commission scolaire des Affluents. They are often comfortable speaking to their group and when their students are working for them. Many are destabilized with the arrival of the tablet. " Why? It seems that rethinking the tasks asked of students using the strengths of the tablet is not straightforward. “It's not natural yet,” she continues. Rethinking classroom management to optimize the use of the few available tablets does not always seem an option. Some prefer to ask for an increase in the number of shelves rather than changing their way of doing things. "

However, classroom management by workshops is a winner. “I think it's the base,” says Suzanne Harvey, resource person for the local RÉCIT service at the Commission scolaire des Chênes. I would even say, THE condition for success with technology, whatever it is. The technology fits easily and makes learning even more efficient in this type of classroom management. "

The workshops also allow students to work at their own pace and develop their autonomy. "They also allow the teacher to make educational differentiation and enrichment activities," adds Annie Marois, resource person for the local RÉCIT service of the Commission scolaire des Découvreurs. I also see another advantage: that of allowing the teacher who is uncomfortable with technology to start with fewer students at a time. "

Should I use my tablet at all times? Certainly not. "It must be treated as a working tool," adds Daniel Ricard, resource person for the local RÉCIT service at the Commission scolaire des Samares. You do not use your pencil at all times, nor your activity book, nor your dictionary. The tablet is one tool among others. Not a period of rewards or entertainment. "

Using tablets on a daily basis is also a good strategy. This allows integrate ICT rather than using it. "It is preferable to have less of them, but that they be available at all times in the classroom," suggests Annie Marois. This allows them to be integrated into everyday life and to develop in the students the reflex to use them when the need arises. "

Since you have to choose, should you have a fleet of rotating tablets for the whole school or a few classroom tablets at all times? The experiments that have been going on for several years in Quebec schools suggest that the second option is more successful.

“Initially, the teachers had chosen to have more tablets, but to rotate them,” explains Suzanne Harvey. They therefore had a definite time to carry out their project before handing the fleet over to another class. This caused stress, as some teachers did not always have time to complete the project. This way of doing things was quickly questioned. "

3. Do otherwise

Interactive digital boards have been a continuation of the green, black or white board used by generations of teachers. If the technological aspect of the device has been a challenge in itself, its daily use sticks quite well to what the teachers were already doing: we write or project on an ICT that remains in the classroom while the students watch. What will happen to the tablet?

“The tablet, even more than the TNI, changes classroom management, making it more participatory,” believes Sébastien Deschamps, resource person for the local RÉCIT service at the Commission scolaire de Laval. The teacher must have the courage to let his pupils choose different means of production. The teacher does not have to know everything at the technical level. Students will be able to provide several answers and solutions. The teacher acts as a guide and facilitates the research and production of content. He makes his students think. "

Research shows that when teachers have access to new technological tools, they have the reflex to use them by reproducing their traditional practices. “However, we must accept to do otherwise, thinks Daniel Ricard. We have to go beyond traditional work plans, recitation of lessons and homework. The tablet opens up these horizons. "

According to the work of the team, working in digital textbooks and taking notes on PDF documents that can be annotated are among the main uses of the tablet in the classroom today. These uses are the continuity of traditional tasks. Accessing digital material can, of course, help save paper or reduce the weight of the school bag. However, if we refer to the SAMR model, these uses are at the level of substitution, that is, the technology is used to perform the same task as before.

A boring activity remains so if it is reproduced as is on the tablet. “Asking students to write their dictation on the tablet does not add educational value,” explains Julie Noël. They may be motivated for a while, but that makes the tablet an expensive notebook! On the other hand, we redefine the use of the tablet if the teacher records his voice so that the pupil in difficulty can write his dictation at his own pace; or if the student uses the function pronounce to check if what he wrote makes sense; or if he consults the reference tools by switching from one application to another. He will improve his writing as well. "

Wanting to use the tablet as one uses a computer would be theone of the five errors committed during the educational integration of this tool. The tablet is a creative tool, not a laptop. If adults like to have a keyboard, it seems that students don't really care. These are two complementary tools whose uses vary depending on the context. “Don't expect the tablet to act like a computer, and that's good!” Believes Sébastien Deschamps. Rather, exploit the new learning opportunities it offers with simpler and more varied applications, allowing the creation of multimedia productions using an intuitive touch interface. These advantages translate into more time spent on the content than on the container. "

In this file…


Classroom management
1. Have the courage to change your classroom management
2. Work in workshops
3. Do otherwise

The educational project
4. Appropriate the tablet… before the start of the educational project
5. Target your educational intentions
6. Opt for creative apps
7. Simplify educational projects… and focus on content

Skills development in students
8. Plan student actions
9. Empower students
10. Develop skills… which will be useful to them all their lives

Conclusion of the case
Useful Resources

Please note! The English translation of this text is automated - Errors (sometimes hilarious!) can creep in! ;)