Saturday, January 29, 2011

Upload Anxiety

This year our school has gone to a 2 to 1 Digital Learning Environment. Basically this means that every student in grades 6-12 have a MacBook and iPod Touch or iPhone at their fingertips 24/7 for the important work of learning. Part of the digital learning environment is the adoption of Studywiz. Studywiz is a virtual learning environment similar to Moodle; however, Studywiz has the ability to aggregate data from multiple classes to one home screen and integrates seamlessly with the mobile devices. My students are using Studywiz to upload work digitally, receive feedback from me, participate in interactive activities such as chats, discussions, polls, etc.

The students often seem to have a certain amount of anxiety when they are uploading work to turn in. My thoughts initially were, "What's the big deal? You upload it, then look at it to know it's there." However, I just finished my application for the Apple Distinguished Educator program. This application requires a written part (completed on Pages) and a video, both of which had to be uploaded. I must have looked over the application at least a dozen times before uploading it; the video must have been viewed twice that much. I actually started to upload them last night and then thought I needed to look at both pieces one more time. When I did, I decided to tweak a few things.

When I actually uploaded both pieces, it seemed to take forever for the process to finish. I thought, "Something's going to go wrong." "It's not going to work right." But then the confirmation page came up with the date and time that Apple received my submission. Why the anxiety?

At the beginning of the school year, one of my students came to me and said he wanted to take his vocabulary quizzes on paper instead of through Studywiz. When I asked him why, he said because taking it online seemed so "final."

I don't know that I have an answer as to why so much anxiety occurs, but I do know that after experiencing it myself in such a real way I will be more understanding and reassuring to my students. Maybe part of navigating this digital environment means nurturing kids in much different ways.

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April 12, 2011 at 6:37 AM  
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May 4, 2011 at 6:25 AM  

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