iPads, No Wifi, and 26 Students

Every year sometime during term 2, my school has student-led conferences. It is a way for students to showcase their work and explain their learning to their parents. As a way to introduce this concept to the parents, I asked my students if they would like to create a movie trailer, using iMovie, to entice their parents and to get them excited about this great learning opportunity. My students loved the idea, and after two periods (2 hours), created these fantastic projects. I was blown away by the creativity, level of confidence, and abilities that my nine year old students have.

As my students began to upload their videos to Showbie (the platform my district has adopted), I was inundated with questions, raised hands, and shouting out of my name. Turns out our iPads were not connecting to the wifi network, which made this project quite challenging. We also had some issues with Showbie not accessing the photo stream, and overall I felt like this lesson was a mass failure.

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Using technology can be frustrating at times. You have great days where everything goes as planned, and then you have the other days which make you reconsider even using it. I consider myself to be a tech savvy person, but other teachers are new to it and still learning. What would happen if they had planned a lesson like this and it did not go according to plan? Would they have the tools and skills to know what to do? Would they be discouraged from using technology again? What kind of system do we need in place to support teachers and technology? These are some questions that I myself am struggling to answer. I believe that we need a support system, but am unclear of what this would look like.

I feel that as educators we teach our students the skills of perseverance and determination. Students also learn these concepts through observations and role modeling. I think that if you can take a stressful and frustrating activity and show your students how to manage it calmly then that in itself is a great learning opportunity.

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