Sunday, November 4, 2012

A New School

It is with a bit of shame that I sit here after not posting for so long on this blog.

In between the last post and now, so much has happened. My family moved from an international school in Bangkok, Thailand, to an IB international school in Suwon, Korea. We are getting our feet under us finally after quite a bit of adjustment. This is our first time for teaching IB. There's a lot I really appreciate about the IB program, my new school, and my new students.

One thing in particular that I find a real advantage in our new school, Gyeonggi Suwon International School, is that it is a one-to-one program from grades six through twelve. This means that all students in grades six through twelve have computers. These students do not simply have computers, they all have MacBooks.

While my school in Bangkok spent a lot of time trying to figure out how (and if) to make a switch from a Windows platform to Mac, GSIS has already taken the leap to a one-to-one program. The benefits are enormous. On a very basic level, there is an incredible convenience to be able to tell students to get out their MacBooks and look something up online, to have them follow along, to have them complete a task online, to have them create something or to respond to a prompt.

I'm still in the "figuring out what my students can do" mode a bit. In Bangkok I was teaching upper secondary students. My students at GSIS are primarily sixth and seventh graders. They seem to have the basics of the computer down, but I'm not sure about the depth of their knowledge. They are still very much in the "introduction to information literacy" phase of study. There are issues such as a bit of bullying on Edmodo, but overall, I've been very impressed with the reliability of the MacBooks. There have been times when student machines have been down, but when that happens, our students are able to get loaners from the IT office quickly. The IT office takes care of the student's issue quickly. My biggest obstacles was one overzealous parent's use of parental controls that locked his son out of all websites that the father did not approve.

I've had the opportunity to attend two @pple meetups and hope to attend more. I leave these meetings with plenty to consider and apply in my classroom.

In the next few weeks, I hope to be a more frequent blogger, primarily to promote my own self-reflection, but perhaps it will also provide some morself on information for a colleague somewhere in the world.

읽어주셔서 감사합니다


Doug said...

Robin - are you really in Korea! Wow - Congratulations. Sounds like a good fit? (based on two blog posts). Hope all is well. All our best to Win & Jonathan.

Doug W.

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