We got a chance to ask Groveport Madison teacher, Patricia Naeem about how she uses technology in her classroom. Patricia is a 10th-grade geometry teacher and has been teaching at the high school for 10 years. It’s exciting to see how classroom management software like Dyknow plays a critical role in her daily instruction in making sure her students stay on task.
How are you maximizing your student device program in your classroom?
We have been teaching our students how to use the online calculation program, Desmos, because it is a very powerful tool for mathematics that my students would not otherwise have access to. However, students are often distracted by other websites. We use Dyknow to monitor students as they work in Desmos to ensure they are on task. We block them from distractions if it becomes necessary. Normally, a quick message directly to their device through Dyknow does the trick.
What are the problems and benefits you face with student devices in your classroom?
One problem that we face with technology in the classroom is with cheating. Our students love using technology, especially when it helps them with their math. However, completing so much work on a Chromebook opens up the door for students to google answers rather than using their own knowledge to solve equations. We have been searching for ways to use more technology. We struggle to ensure that the class assessment matches the class projects with regards to how much technology is used. For example, if we complete an entire unit doing transformations on Desmos, how do we assess students on Desmos so that the assessment technique is not completely different from the learning? We found that we could do segmented blocking to keep all students working on what they were supposed to be working on without having to worry about cheating. For example, when the assessment starts, everyone is blocked to only the Desmos assessment so that they are not using other websites to cheat. As students finish their tests and are moving on to do their next assignment to start the next chapter, we switch the blocking to keep them out of the assessment and in the online textbook. Using Dyknow, we can ensure that students are only looking at what they should be looking at. It is a wonderful way to incorporate technology in the classroom and ensure that students can be assessed fairly preventing the opportunity to cheat.
What tips can you provide on how to maximize instructional time with technology?
At the beginning of the school year, we turned on Dyknow blocking each and every day. After a while, we found that if we just monitored them, almost all of our students would do exactly what they needed to be doing without being blocked. We now only using blocking for assessments and in the case of misuse, which rarely happens. Our students have learned the parameters that they need to operate in during our class, and it has made using technology easier and more effective.
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