The Story of a New CK-12 User: Chemistry Teacher, Doug
Today's guest blogger, Doug Hanson, is a new CK-12 user. He has been teaching for the past 25 years and has always tried to stretch his students by being innovative in his approach to teaching.
I woke up at 1 in the morning thinking about the 30 ipads that were in my chemistry class and I hadn’t had my students use them once – at least for my Chemistry class. The remainder of my sleep was restless as I tossed and turned thinking about the importance of teaching my students in a manner that reflects the world where they live.
The saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” was haunting my thoughts and was a catalyst to get me moving in a different direction in my chemistry classroom. I thought, “Well, this ol’ dog is going to learn some new tricks starting tomorrow!”
The next day I contacted my building instructional coach and began planning the switch from teacher directed to student directed learning. A week later we launched our students into the world of learning from the ipads and taking charge of their learning.
The CK-12 website has been an amazing resource. With the addition of technology to my classroom, learning can take place anytime and anyplace my students connect to the internet. For instance, I am going to be out of my classroom for three days this week for professional development. In the past, my sub plans would have included stacks of worksheets and carefully laid out lesson plans that my class would follow.
My lesson plans have now been left on Haiku - a web based student portal for classes - and my instructions involve having my students research on the web, create presentations over their material and most importantly, complete the CK-12 goals that I have given them.
I told my class on Friday that they can now do their homework anytime they have internet access. For many of my students, their primary tool for their education is their cell phone. I have to believe that this method of teaching will more effectively prepare my students for life.
Another important component to the CK-12 website is my ability to provide students with prescriptive assignments. As I grade tests and quizzes, I am able to quickly assess specific areas of growth or review that my students require.
In the past, reteaching involved spending extra time with students before or after class. With CK-12, I can assign my students specific goals that reflect the area of learning where they need further growth and development.
The dashboard allows me to track student performance with these goals as well and provides me with feedback on how well my students are learning the material. Armed with this important information, I can assist my students in learning difficult material and insure that no one in my class is left behind in their learning.
I have been able to give my students their goals for the test coming up soon and the resources to prepare them. The conversations about learning I am having with my students reveal that they honestly like having the teacher directing the class.
When we asked classes how they felt about this decision, their initial response reflected how reticent they were to change instruction. Well, this dog is learning some new tricks in the classroom and I am excited to see the outcome of my new journey. I will definitely keep you posted!
Post your questions or comments for Doug regarding his use of ipads in the classroom and CK-12 in the classroom below.