Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pre-Practicum Musings: Part 8

A little more Nook preparation today (just powering down the fully-charged devices and putting them aside for distribution to students next week) which prompted a good discussion about what this program brings to the table for students.

This is the 4th year the Nooks have been in use (they were a donation to the library) and at the time, the LMS identified a new teacher that she thought would be enthusiastic about introducing this technology to his 6th grade students. She was right; he has done a nice job of integrating the benefits that e-books can bring to his students' understanding of historical fiction.

The most differentiating way the students use the Nooks (vs. paper books), is by thoughtful and frequent use of the Notes & Bookmarks features available on the Nook (this is a requirement while they are reading). There is a large discussion component of the book in class, and the LMS noted that it's great to see how students will flip through their Nooks to argue their points and back up their opinions throughout the discussion. While this is certainly possible with a book through the use of Post-its or other bookmarks, it is certainly much easier to do so with the electronic features and overall promotes better discussion and understanding of the book they are reading. So even though it's a lot of work getting the Nooks ready to go each trimester, the benefits do seem to make it worthwhile.

An interesting model that had relevance to this discussion was the SAMR model, which was new to me. Essentially, this model provides a framework to help educators determine how a new technology will impact student learning:
  • Substitution - Technology is a direct substitute; no functional change
  • Augmentation - Technology is a direct substitute; some functional improvement
  • Modification - Technology allows for significant task redesign
  • Redefinition - Technology allows for creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable
The LMS I am working with noted that she really tries to push teachers to make sure that at the bare minimum, technology they introduce is at the Augmentation level (i.e. not using technology just for the heck of it, or solely for trying to increase student engagement) and the use of the Nooks I think hits this level. When possible, she seeks out opportunities for Modification (I think the virtual museum qualifies here), but she's yet to truly observe/enact Redefinition in her library. Regardless, she recommended the model to me as a good one to remember and to try to incorporate when providing resources to teachers, or planning my own lessons, so I include it here so that I might have a chance of remembering it down the road.

Today's hours: 3

Total hours: 21

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