Desktop Disaster?

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When I arrived at school this morning, the teacher who floats in my classroom during first block came running up to me (never a good sign) as I took my morning duty post. She asked, “Did you have problems with the desktop yesterday?” “No, it worked fine 4th block before I shut it down,” I replied. “Why?” She responded then asked, “The monitor’s not working. Where’s Kandi? (our tech-savvy AP)” I pointed her in the appropriate direction and thought, “Man, that will be a pain…”

And then I thought, “Why should it be a pain?” I have plenty of other, more interactive, technology with which students can work, so instead of an aggravation, I saw an opportunity to engage students in learning with and teaching new technology tools.

We begin each day with a Daily Grammar Practice exercise. I usually post the DGP on the SmartBoard while students write and respond to that day’s grammar work in their notebooks. Useful but boring. Today, students took the DGP PowerPoint slide from Edmodo, took a picture of the slide with the iPad and then imported the picture into the app of their choice. Students experimented with Skitch, ShowMe, and Draw free.

Since we had been working with PaperPortNotes earlier in the week, we tried that too, but students had to add the extra steps of saving the picture to their dropboxes and then importing the file.They decided that took too many steps. But if they added the picture to a text box on PaperPortNotes, they could not write or draw on the file and that defeated the purpose of the activity. So Skitch, ShowMe, and Draw free were the app winners of the day for this activity.

Students weigh in on their favorites below…

Then, I used the opportunity to show students how they could upload files from their camera rolls to their Edmodo libraries and then share the activity with their classmates or me. The slideshow below contains examples of student on the DGP. And one student prefers to use the laptop, so she used Crocodoc to do her DGP.

And my document camera still worked today even if the desktop didn’t. Disaster averted. Master of monitor and adjust… I think so.


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