Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 17: Online Practice

Maybe it's just my school, but I feel like any time I try to use school technology on a class wise scale, it feels like it's more hassle than it's worth. That's especially true when we're using it for the first time of the year.

Case in point: My district requires math teachers to use the Carnegie Learning software as part of our curriculum. I'm OK with that, but there's usually not enough working computers in a lab for as many students as I have, and there's always something going on with a Java update or some such thing. 

So I lost all of 2nd hour yesterday when I scheduled us to use a lab that hadn't updated Java, so they couldn't run Carnegie. Oof. I then got to spend my plan hour in a frenzied panic trying to find a backup plan for my remaining classes which amounted to links to Khan Academy videos and practice problems. No worries, as the lab I had for the later classes had been updated and worked out fine once they kids learned how to log in (another headache). 

There's a broader issue to discuss with online practice - does it help foster learning? Personally I think it's no different than any other tool, it can be used responsibility or not. Students who take it seriously will get something out of it and those and refuse to engage won't see any benefit. 

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