Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Program Introduction

When my principal first wrote our technology needs list for the implementation of a set of handhelds in the classroom, she loaded it up! The district was funding the hardware while our school would pick up the cost of software. It doesn’t hurt to dream big. With our set of handhelds, we received wireless keyboards, Wi-Fi cards, a projector, a laptop computer, a Margi, a printer, and a document camera. Unfortunately the company that made the detachable cameras we requested went out of business so they were no longer available. While at NECC in Philadelphia I was informed that the Margi didn’t work with our Tungsten T5 model due to a discrepancy with a mirror component. Okay, so I had no idea what that meant except it wasn’t able to be used with the handhelds we purchased. I have utilized the document camera with the projector and laptop when I introduce programs to my students. I project my handheld onto our white board while students sit on the floor in front of it. I go step by step through the process of opening the program, starting a new file, and how to navigate through the program itself. After doing that, I have students tell me the steps and follow through with what they say.

I’ve never had to repeat the training more than once. After I model it and explain it, and students walk me through it, they then take the responsibility for helping each other. I’m always amazed at how few questions I get about how to use a new program. Most of the questions they ask me are about what to name their files.

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