So in a “daily,” we have a one-to-one iPad ratio for our students in the academic level. So they come in, in the morning; they grab their iPad; they download the note from the LMS—from the Web site that I’ve created; they go on there; they download the note. From there, there’s no paper-pencil in my classroom for classroom daily notes. Now some parents may struggle with that at first, because they’re going to say, “Well, how are they supposed to review their notes?” Every note is posted daily online; everything that we do in the classroom is posted so that the parents and the child student can go on the Web site at night and review the concepts. I give them the option of printing out the note if they want it, but they don’t have to do it. So, basically, removing the “writing out the notes” has been extremely beneficial for me as a teacher. I see the students taking the classroom time to have discussions, to come up with different types of solutions through the use of the iPad. There’s also more time for the use of Explain Everything, because a lot of teachers think, “Hey, this takes a lot of time; I can’t afford to lose class time to do this.” Well, by taking away the time that they’re copying the notes, you’re actually saving yourself time. Once they’re able to fully explain a topic—and, yeah, it does take time at first—it saves you more time in the end.
I’ve used videos in my classroom quite often in different ways. So basically what I end up doing is, in one way that I use it, I have students sending me messages on the LMS, so they say, “Miss, I need help with question number on page number.” So I always have a textbook at home, and, instead of typing out the solution to them, I make them a quick little video. So I use something like Screencast-O-Matic, which is free, and I make the video really quickly for them; it takes me two to three minutes to explain something. Now another way that I use the videos is by doing—if I’m ever away—I make a class; basically it’s my class on tape. So I’ll record myself; I’ll record the concepts that I’m doing step by step, and from there the students view it with the supply teacher the next day. So they will view that video, which they can stop; I encourage them to “pause”; I encourage them to “rewind” if they don’t understand something, and it’s basically like I’m there, but I’m not. From there I post these videos online, onto my class Web site, and students are always able to access these Web sites, or the Web site with the videos. So they’re broken down into units, and if the student is coming up to the EQAO or a test, for example, they can always go back and view the videos that I’ve made, even if I made one on the first day of school. So they’re always available to the students.
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