Teaching With Tablets #RogersTablet101Friday, September 14, 2012
It is 10:00 pm on a Friday night and I am completely and utterly exhausted. It might have a little something to do with the fact that I have been up since 4:00 am. But before I lay me down to sleep, I simply had to share with you a 'light bulb moment' I'd had today at work. Now, please note that it surely wasn't of Einstein proportions but merely a 'slap-the-forward-why-didn't-I-think-of-it-sooner revelation.' And I wouldn't have thought of it if it weren't for the fact that Rogers had so graciously sent me a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE to share my experience with it. What I can tell you so far is, that, as of this week, my daily planner is now digital and, because I carry my tablet with me to every class, I can now easily record anecdotal notes without the use of paper. However, this is not the real reason why I am too excited to go to bed. Oh, no.
Today, I nearly fell off my rocker when I had the
groundbreaking idea of taking a picture using my Galaxy tab. I know, I know. Some of you are probably questioning whether I am using that expression in the figurative sense or not. But really, I nearly fell off my chair when I realized how snapping a simple picture could forever change the way I teach. Let me begin by explaining the situation in which I found myself this morning. In one of my classes, we were working as a whole to complete a worksheet while I recorded the answers on the board. Alas, one of my students has a visual impairment and cannot see the board clearly enough to copy the answers. In the past, this often meant that I would write things down on behalf of this particular student, which was somewhat time consuming for me. Pondering a possible solution using my tablet, I first thought of typing out the answers on the Galaxy tab and handing it over to the student to copy from directly but that was nearly just as time consuming. So what did I do? I took a picture. It was that easy. I snapped a photo of the board, enlarged the photo on my tablet and handed it over to the student within a matter of 30 seconds. The student was then able to enlarge the photo and shift it as needed which facilitated an otherwise difficult task. Eureka!
It might be hard to understand why I find this discovery so thrilling. I'm positive there are teachers who have already implemented this idea many moons ago. I guess it has to do with the fact that I have worn glasses since I was in grade 1 but would often lose them or break them. Neither of my parents had coverage for eyeglasses (or dental, for that matter) which meant they would have to pay out of pocket. For a couple of years, I made do without glasses and, even though I said I could see clearly enough, I remember struggling to see the board. So I have the utmost appreciation for the gift of 20/20 vision and the ability to read without having to squint. I also have a slight suspicion that there are students who may need glasses but either cannot afford them or haven't yet been tested. In the meantime, I can use my Galaxy tab in a similar fashion as I did today to help those students who have a difficult time seeing the board. But why stop there? If I can take a picture of any notes I have written on the board, than I could go a step further and instantly upload photos of my notes to, let's say... a wiki where students can access them from home if they were absent that day or if they didn't have enough time to finish copying. The possibilities are indeed plentiful.
I am looking forward to further exploring the tab's potential implementation in the classroom and I'll be sure to keep you posted. Right now, this vieille enseignante really needs to faire do-do. Bonne nuit!
Disclosure: Rogers Communication sent me a Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE for review. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.