Q1 - "Should I bring a laptop? What do you think is best?"
- This is a perennial question students ask. The short answer is there are many devices that are best, depending on the student. This is where "personal computing (PC)" comes into play. If a student prefers to use a laptop, it provides tremendous functionality. On the other hand, with the addition of a lightweight keyboard, tablets of all varieties become great production devices. And, if you are a texting master, feel free to thumb-type away. The flexibility of our program is inviting students to use their own devices and discover what is best for them. It takes all kinds and we've a wireless network to meet everyone's needs.
- The classroom rules about device use are quite simple, really. Students' technology is their own, but at school is a "guest." What this means is there are common courtesies and rules to follow. The school & district codes of conduct apply. Simply this means using devices ethically and responsibly to not: post images of other students, publish information about any other person, use devices during tests, use technology in a way to make another person uncomfortable, etc. Think about it this way - your devices are research, authoring, and creation tools, but just that -- tools. That's how we'll use them -- responsibly. Misusing devices will revoke their "guest status", and they won't be welcome. Additionally, there could be discipline for infractions of the school and district code, so let's use tech wisely.
- Our classroom will is a safe place, but you need to keep an eye on your devices at all times. They're your responsibility. The safest place for your technology is with you. If you plan to store devices in your locker, ensure that your combination is safe - that only you know it. If you're unsure, go with the safest best and keep it with you.
Q4 "Will you show us how to use our devices?"
- Now we're talking =) When I said it takes all kinds, that means diversity if a great thing. Being a technology afficionado, one of the things I'm looking forward to is showing students many new ways to do projects. It won't be about programs, but expressive, interesting ways to show you've learned. If you're into claymation, time-lapse photography, podcasting, re-enactments, narrations, taking on the role of teaching, we've some exciting ideas to offer. As for technology assistance, I'll provide all the advice I can. That being said, I do not advocate jail-breaking devices or the like, just ethical/responsible use of technology. You'll find that the classroom environment will become its own "Genius Bar" if you ask for advice and we all share what we know.