Wednesday, February 18, 2015

2 in 1 in the Classroom #EdTech

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I’ve been very lucky to have a class set of tablets for a number of years. I have seen the things my students have been able to do in class that was just not possible before. The tablets have been a major influence on how I have run my class and designed my lessons. I have encountered issues though that could only be solved with a stronger platform.

People have asked if I would still buy tablets if I had to do it all over again. It is a very tough question for me to answer. The tablet allows my students the freedom to move around the room and the school to record projects and complete other work. A laptop would allow students to work on bigger projects and presentations much easier than a tablet allows. At the time, I had to choose one or the other. Things are different now.

I’ve been playing with some of the 2 in 1 laptops at the stores lately and getting a good feel as to what they can do. I started to think about what could be possible in my classroom if my students had the options to use the tablet and then go back to the laptop for a different part of the project. Here are some of the things that stood out to me when putting a 2 in 1 in play in the classroom.

  1. The cool thing about 2 in 1 is that it can be what you want it to be when you need it. I think about the different projects that my students work in class and one stands out to me when I think about using the 2 in 1 in the classroom. Every year, my American Literature students hold a Mock Trial of Mark Twain. Over the course of a couple of weeks, students research, prep witnesses, and hold a trial in class. The connected screen and keyboard would allow my students to do all of the hard computing and research needed during the first part of the trial and then they can detach and use the tablet when the trial starts to walk around and question the witnesses. When done, they can go back to their table and re-attach to take notes on the rest of the trial.

  1. Another cool thing that I do in the classroom is have students walk around the school and take pictures of anything that stands out to them. Then, I have them create a gothic story based on the elements of the photo. It’s a fun creative writing piece that follows a unit on Edgar Allan Poe. The kids get to stretch their creative muscles and base it off a photo found at school. I love the idea of my students detaching the screen to use the tablet and explore the school. When they are done, they can go back to the classroom and type their story. It is possible with just a tablet, but it is much better when the students have a keyboard to quickly type up their ideas.

  1. I also like the flexibility of the 2 in 1. If I want to take class to another part of the campus, I can have them detach and take their tablet with them. When I’m ready to get back to the classroom, they can reconnect it with the keyboard and get back to typing. It is nice to have those options and see what the students can do. I want to get out of my classroom as much as possible and the 2 in 1 can give me a little more room to plan excursions outside of the class.

I’m always looking for different ways to get my students engaged and using tools that will make life easier for them in the classroom. I’m always willing to try and experiment with different tools because that is what I want them to do for their own success. It is important to look around and see all of the different options out there for the classroom. I liked what the Dell 2 in 1 XPS 12 and HP Spectre X2 could do for my students working on a project. They both have strong computing power and the ability to detach and reattach from the keyboard to get my kids up and moving. These two stand out to me, but there are others from Intel that are worth checking out. Visit here to see what Intel has to offer. If you have used the 2 in 1’s in your classroom, leave a comment here. I’d love to hear what you think.

Brought to you by Intel Education.

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