Monday, October 24, 2016

Classroom 1:1 Technology Norms: Responsibility, Respect, Focus & Presence

Setting norms is a helpful exercise for a productive meeting. Norms in the classroom are beneficial, too. As part of our 1:1 program, we have made classroom management a continuous focus (see Tip #5 for a Successful 1:1 Implementation). This is the fifth year we have had "iPad Norm" posters in all of our grade 5-12 1:1 classrooms as part of this continual focus, which provide teachers and students with common language and expectations around using technology for learning. Teachers revisit these norms throughout the year and when necessary, can reference them listed right on the poster hanging on the wall.

Five years ago, high school media specialist Peter Gausmann and instructional technology coach Ben Stanerson drafted these norms with our teachers. (Our 1:1 program began with freshman at our high school six years ago with and was carefully and deliberately rolled out to middle and elementary grades in the years since.) We combined them with photos of our elementary, middle, and high school students using technology and created posters like those shown. Teachers were asked to hang the poster in their classrooms and talk through the points of the poster with students.

At the time, Peter explained to our teachers that "a growing body of work (by Dr. David Walsh and others) stresses the importance of teaching kids how to use technology for learning and how to handle distractions from mobile technologies.  Our goal is to provide all staff with common language and talking points that you can use with students and parents." 

The five norms are:
Be Responsible 
Use your device for learning. Create a positive digital footprint. Bring your charged device to class every day.   
Be Respectful  
Give your full attention to the teacher and other students when they are talking. Listen to and follow the teacher’s directions about technology use. Record/photograph others only with their permission  
Be Focused  
Turn off distracting notifications. Devote your time and attention to learning (no games, texting, cat videos, messaging, etc.)  
Be Present  
Give your full attention to those who are with you in class.
In addition to these norms, we continually work with students to help them use technology safely and responsibly, including other posters with the T.H.I.N.K. acronym posted in classrooms and hallways around the school. We also have a District Digital Citizenship Committee working to set norms for our community around the safe and healthy use of technology. As always, feel free to use these ideas, and if you have your own to share, please do so.

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