If you have finished the required work for my class, you may always use your smartphone, tablet, netbook or laptop to:
- Read a book, magazine or blog post of personal (and school appropriate) interest.
- Work on an assignment for another class.
- Play a pre-approved game that builds skills related to the class. (If you find a game that you feel contributes to your learning, tell me about it and why you think it should go on the approved list.)
- Have a serious discussion with a classmate about a topic in the course using an approved discussion tool.
- Listen to an educational podcast or view an educational video. TED talks and Khan Academy videos are always OK. (Remember to use your headphones.)
- Organize your life by reviewing/updating your calendar, to-do list, or address book.
- Write in your personal journal.
If you have another activity that you think I should consider appropriate, please convince me of its value. I’ll listen.
I have heard more than one teacher tell me that classroom management has become easier, not harder, when kids are allowed to use their phones and other networked devices in class. Bored too often means disruptive.
It’s not the tool; it’s how we use it.
I love this set of guidelines for classroom technology use during downtime–it’s a great way to help students channel their desire to be using their phones/iPads/laptops during class.