One Tablet per Child programme
Getting you comfortable
You will be given the tablet during your second in-service training in September while students will be given their tablet later on in the year. You will be asked to “explore” what you can do for yourself. You will then have the opportunity to talk about what you found in an online community. In late December we will organise a one day seminar for all to meet face to face and share what was found. In this session, we will concentrate on native features of the tablets and focus on what these can do. We will try to address any level of anxiety. We will focus on particular features such as the camera and what it can be used for in terms of literacy development.
During this time I encourage you to make regular time to share ideas in school and in your college. This will help you to recognise that your challenges are also shared by colleagues and can be resolved together.
Taking the pressure off
I will make sure that pressure is taken off the teacher. I know that when the devices are brought into the classroom there will be a lot of learning involved. Please do not feel that you have to use the tablet for everything and all things. The tablet is a great tool and there are a number of great ways to use it but you do not have to use it for everything. In many cases paper makes more sense so we will help you to learn how to make meaningful use of the device. It does not make sense to substitute work that is easily done on paper with the tablet in order to use the tool for everything.
A paradigm shift
Learners will have a whole scholastic year to do a paradigm shift. This will be one of the challenges that you will face as a Year 4 teacher and as experienced during the OTPC pilot project. Most learners will have been used to devices as an entertainment device, as something they can play with. What the One Tablet per Child programme will do is to force them shift that paradigm from entertainment to productivity and to learning. They will also come to consider that device as a learning and productivity device or a content creation tool, as something they can engage with and deepen their knowledge.
Be patient. It is OK to make mistakes.
There are going to be mistakes. Learners are going to make mistakes, you are going to make mistakes and I am going to make mistakes. So let us be patient with each other. Let us all be open to new information and open to new and good ideas from colleagues who may be further along the path than you and me. In some ways I will have to model for you what I want you to model with your students which is that you need not be an expert in every aspect of this programme. I believe that it is very powerful if you and I can see ourselves as learners and we role model for learning.
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