The Perfect Plan
So What Went Wrong?
Now It's Your Turn
Why share this failure with you? Why not leave the mistakes of my past where no one can see them? I think there is something to be gained in letting you and my students in on my failure.
Coming Together: Isn't it the case that the people with whom we are the closest are also the people who have seen us at our worst. Whether within your family, church, small group, staff or friends, allowing yourself to be vulnerable opens the door to deeper, more meaningful relationships with others. Sharing your failures helps others feel safe to do so as well.
Modeling Resiliency: Students need to see what it looks like to bounce back. While we present kids with opportunities to fail every day, we do our best to avoid them for ourselves. We carefully plan everything and then, when something doesn't work, we tend to throw our hands up and blame it on curriculum, technology or a whole host of other things. Whether we intend to or not, we communicate with our students that this is how they should deal with failures or mistakes. Why is this? Why are we afraid to let them see us stumble? We've heard time and time again that children learn more from our actions than our words. Why not intentionally problem solve in front of them and model how to address the challenges they will inevitably face each day?
Risk Taking: Simply put, we need to be taking more risks in front of our students. We need to regularly say "Ok, kids. I'm not sure how this is going to turn out. We're trying something new today..." I recognize that this is a counter-cultural idea. As teachers we are hard-wired to find what works, laminate it and then use it again and again until we are forced into a new curriculum or a new grade. It's time to reassess this find-and-keep model. Students are taking risks everyday, let's join them. What new technique, lesson, book, or tech tool can you try with your students the next time you see them?
Thoughts from My Second Graders
I used my failure with the Wii Interactive Whiteboard as a lesson on failure with my students. My students seemed to really connect with what I was saying as I shared my struggles. We spent a few moments talking through what we can do when things aren't working or when we feel like we're failing. This is what the class came up with:
Shortly after, I dismissed my students to recess. One young soul caught me on the way out the door to share one more thing that I should add to the poster. "Mr. Helder, you should put 'Mistakes are proof that at least you are trying." She was right. I did need to add that. But we had a problem: I was all out of room on my poster. We talked about our options (i.e. write it really small, put it in the empty space on the right, etc.) and settled on writing it on a new piece of paper and adding it to the bottom. It's not perfect, but the kids solved the problem and they are pretty proud of it.
Bonus: Other Interactive Whiteboard Options
mMy Wii Remote Whiteboard failed. So what's the next best option? I put this question out to a variety of administrators and tech integration folks. Their response was mixed. Many, like myself, don't see how having an interactive whiteboard is that much better than projecting an iPad or computer onto a regular whiteboard. When looking at a device that costs $300 or more, one must ask, are the additional benefits really worth it? Others complained about really expensive interactive whiteboards that had very limiting software or were not as user friendly as they needed to be. Still others expressed real regret in buying hardware that ended up being clunky, glitchy, restrictive and ultimately unused by their staff. Some cautioned that this hardware tends to encourage a "teacher-centered" classroom environment or a "learning happens from the front" model of instruction.
However, if you are set on getting an interactive whiteboard for your school or classroom, there are many options. Of all the hardware solutions out there (and there are a lot of them), I'm drawn to the simplicity and price of the Ipevo IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System. Some districts near my school have been happy with the devices and they come pretty highly recommended by our local ISD. For $300, it seems to be the best budget-friendly option out there. For more information, click this link or the ad below.
If all you're looking to do is control your screen wirelessly, I recommend using an app like Doceri or Splashtop. Each allows you to control your computer's desktop from the screen of an iPad. Both require you to download an app to your iPad and your computer. While they are not free, these apps are full featured and may be all that you really need. Currently, Doceri seems to be the most widely used and best reviewed.
I'd love to hear others thoughts as well. What are you using in your school? What's working? What isn't? Any specific models of interactive whiteboards that you would suggest? What can you do with whiteboards that would be hard to do without? Do your prefer Doceri or Splashtop? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Upcoming CSI Webinar: Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Support Classroom Tech
Bookmark This Link:
By regularly using this link as your primary way to access Amazon, a portion of all of your purchases will be applied to technology in the classroom at no extra cost to you. This is a simple way to support our class over and over again without much time or effort. Thanks for your help!
Common Sense Media
Helping Parents & Teachers Navigate a Digital World
A Mid-Year Checkup:
Tech Goals I've Met, Missed or Abandoned Completely
Shelf Reflection: What my classroom library says about the world and what I can do about it.
Looking Ahead, Blogging Forward
Teacher Approved Gifts for Kids
The Best Apps for Your Kid's New Device
Do Good with Great Deals
Is Amazon Prime Worth It?
Navigating the Election with Your Kids
Making the Most of 1 Classroom iPad
Apptoberfest: Google Photos
Apptoberfest: The Bible for Kids by YouVersion
Apptoberfest: IXL Math
Apptoberfest: Teach You Monster to Read
I Tried...I Failed...& You Can Too!
Let Go and Let Them
Oh the Place You'll Go: Using Green Screens in the Classroom
The Kindle Fire HD 8 - The iPad's Days are Numbered
A Fresh Start: Changes for the Year Ahead
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 2: Getting the Lowest Price
Getting Great Stuff for Less - Part 1 : Finding the Best Stuff
Stop Everything and Kahoot!
Coding in 2nd Grade with No Prep and $0
Kindles in the Classroom: A Year In Review