Posted tagged ‘teaching’

Wireless Writing Tablet

April 8, 2008

I wrote about using a writing tablet in math class a while back.  Now I am taking it to the next level.  I got a grant for a bunch of Interwrite wireless writing tablets for the math department at my school.  The money doesn’t come in until June but I was able to get one early on loan.  According to UPS tracking it should be at the school sometime tomorrow.  I’m trying to set some time aside so I can implement it soon.

Update: I ended up getting Airliner tablets that go along with the Notebook software (that runs on SmartBoards!)  We now have a 8 of these Airliner tablets and they are great.  The writing is smooth, they are durable, the battery lasts all day, and the Notebook software comes with it.  If you get good at running the software then you are ready for a SmartBoard.  My district was convinced of that and when a few new boards were purchased I got one in my room!   I can write on the Smartboard and use the Airliner tablet at the same time – very cool feature.

I can’t say anything bad about the Interwrite tablet but Smartboards have taken over the education world and it makes sense to go with the Airliner if you are looking at gettting some wireless writing tablets.

If you need help with the Smartboard (when you get that too) then stop by my SmartboardTips site.

An Analogy for Teaching High School

March 22, 2008

A friend of mine in college had a knack for explaining everything with a hamburger or car analogy.  I’ve been working on an analogy for teaching.  Here is one using a trip.  I think I would use it as a first day intro speech.  The idea is borrowed from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits for Families.  He talks about a family as a plane and how you need to stay on course.  This is something like that.

Here is what I would say:

You are all about to take a trip.  We all leave today.  The destination is clear.  At the end of the trip we will all need to be at the place where have all the knowledge and skills from this class.  You will have gotten to a place where you can continue on to a new journey next year. 

Some of you are taking off in jet airplanes, some in helicopters, some in cars, others might be getting on your bike, while some might just be lacing up your shoes to get walking.  How you get there is not important but what is important is that you are taking your own way.  It is not worth it to get in someone elses car, or try to jump up on someones plane so you can spend all year in the passenger seat taking naps.  You need to get there your self.  You can fly together with others, caravan together, or even hold hands with someone else as you walk down the street.  If your in a car you might honk at the biker as you pass to encourage them on.  

Those of you walking will not have a chance to let up.  You will need to continue down your path everyday.  The jet pilots could possibly take some extra time refuelling but they must also make sure that they reach the destination by the end of the year.

My job is to keep everyone on course.  I will make it clear where we are going.  Along the way I will let you know if you have the right coordinates or if you are going down the right street.  Whenever you start to get off track I will let you know.  I am your GPS locator, your map, your compass, and your guide.  You can always ask me for directions. 

It is your job to keep moving.  I’m going to tell you how sweet it is at the end of this trip.  I’ll give you encouragement at major milestones.  I’ll even sit right in the passenger seat if you need me to.  I can’t pedal for you, I can’t press on the accelerator, and I certainly can’t fill your shoes.  It is up to you to keep moving forward.

That’s all I’ve got so far.  I’ll add more as it comes to me.