Saturday, August 23, 2008

What am I doing?

This is the best title that I could come up with to summarize my first week. You see, I have changed a few things in my chemistry class at AHS and I am now wondering if it makes any difference. (See last post.)

There are a lot of things that happen at the beginning of the school year and I am wondering now if just giving reading and notes for homework is the best thing (if anyone actually reads this blog please leave a comment) for the students.

In the AP chemistry class, it is no different since last year the students also had a summer assignment. Since I never checked if the students were doing this assignment I have no measure of if it has made any difference. The "it" I am referring to is the posting of the lectures for the first few chapters of material to iTunes. Right now, it seems like a lot of extra work for me with nothing new occurring. I doing think that I will see amazing magic right now but I was hoping for something from the students. I got feedback from one student out of 65 but that is a special cast. (Boy o' boy, does this sound negative.)

Then there was the new technology that I was very excited about having in the classroom...that did not work. I know that there are some "bugs" that need to be worked out by me in using screen capture software with a new microphone and a bluetooth enabled tablet in the classroom but when you practice and everything works fine you would think it would work great at showtime. Boy is that frustrating. About the only thing that did work was the PowerPoint. But then the bulb was dim in the projector and the colors are very different than what is displayed on the monitor. I know that this does not seem like a problem but when showing images it is bothersome. There are somethings that i will try to fix this but I wish I could just "teach".

The problem that I have with just "teaching" is that I do not think it is what is best. It might be what is the easiest for all parties involved, to pull out the same material from a year ago, but I struggle with this. There are some great teachers who can do this, I however feel like I am learning and would like to figure out the connections between the students and the material.

Well, Monday starts another week (with Back to School Night, a PLC day, the first AP test of the semester and the first football game) and I will try again. If nothing else, this form of writing helps me to realize that the hard work is probably worth it.

1 comment:

Karl Fisch said...

Give it some time, Brian. We've fixed the projector problem. I think you've solved the Bluetooth problem. The technology will all come together just fine with time.

The more important question is whether it's working better for students, and that will take time to tell as well. Plus, we will adjust and tweak as it goes along to hopefully make it better. Give yourself some time. Remember, Nobelium wasn't created in a day . . .