Thursday, September 6, 2012

Deployment and post-Deployment issues

So I have to start off by saying how incredibly grateful I am that not only was Marty in my classroom but so was Sandy and Doreen first thing in the morning. I had distinct plans in my head about introducing my kids to edmodo and guiding them in creating a tagxedo of themselves (which is such a fun cool site! I wish I knew about it earlier!). Everybody was excited about getting the computers up and running on the newly created wireless network created just for my kids! Surprise! It didn't work :(  So then we moved on to plan B. We had to log each computer onto the guest network as the students were coming in to the classroom. So I tried to manage them and instructed them to write in their journals quietly. By this time I had about five people trying to log onto the computers, Matt was trying to fix my board (yeah my board wasn't working on the deployment day either), two other people observing the project, and I am really expecting my students to keep quiet?! But they did! They were amazing! One by one, we called them to get their computer by their number, which they had already memorized.

Logging on to edmodo was a success! They were excited about it looking like facebook. They answered the questions I had posted and answered the poll question as well. The next step, the project I was most excited about, was not so successful. I instructed my students to   go to my website and click on the symbaloo link. They started getting very chatty when they saw all the cool sites they would experience. I told them to click on the Tagxedo and....IT DIDN'T WORK!!! So quick thinking, I told them to go to wordle instead. They loved it and they loved changing the colors, fonts, etc..

Of course, a wordle is not as easy to save as a tagxedo. We had to go through multiple steps to use the snipping tool, save it as a jpeg, then turn in the assignment to edmodo.

I felt like a broken record constantly repeating the steps. My kids did so well following instructions, but it really helped having so many hands in the classroom.

The next time we got out the laptops was the fun part...I was determined to teach my students to go through the five step process it takes to log onto the network. This is a time when my patience was tested. I did not even finish talking before I had ten hands in the air and kids trying to follow me around the room. I knew I couldn't do this every time we had to use the laptops. I used flags to help with this issue. I had a stack of three colored cups, one per student. I told them the green cup on top meant you were good, the yellow one meant you were struggling but trying to solve the problem, and red meant major problems.

The next time I tried to use these flags, I told the kids that if they knew how to sign on to the network, they could go ahead while I gave instructions to the rest of the class. Most of them were able to sign on, but I still had those few who just gave up and raised their hands the second they had a problem.

I was a little frustrated still because I couldn't get everything done that I wanted to accomplish because I had so many students who were relying on me to do everything for them. I went to my principal for advice. He said to let them struggle through it. They will work it out eventually. I tried just that and it was actually much better! Most of the students really tried to figure out and solve the problem. We were on the internet and getting our work done much quicker!

Now that the internet issue is sorted out, I am really looking forward to using these laptops more and more throughout the year!

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