Monday, May 03, 2010

Working the Backup Plan

In my classroom, I have an ActivBoard (we have them district-wide) and a set of ActivExpressions (won them in a professional development raffle-- best workshop ever). 

My ActivBoard projector went kaput on Thursday, and I was assured that it would be fixed by today.  Broken projectors are considered "emergencies."  Still, this morning 9:15 rolled around with no projector.  My lesson for today, concerning population challenges in China, was supposed to include the following:

1) ActivExpression preview quiz (What fraction of the world's population do you think lives in China?)
2) Analysis/discussion of data and photos on the Activboard
3) Research and brief debate on the one child policy
4) ActivExpression survey on whether students agree that the one child policy is a good idea

Note that 1, 2, and 4 were shot without the ActivBoard.  Fortunately, I was able to secure a laptop cart for today. I uploaded the images quickly to my class blog so that students could view and discuss them with the laptops.  I whipped up a quick version of my quiz and survey on Poll Everywhere.  With Poll Everywhere, students can answer by text message or mobile web on phones as well as on the "regular web." This was the first time I had my kids take out  their phones during class this year, and they were very excited-- much moreso than when they use the ActivExpressions. 

My projector was replaced about halfway through the day, and I switched back to my original plan for the photo discussion, but stuck with Poll Everywhere for the rest of my classes.

So my technology backup plan wound up being... more technology.  If I hadn't been able to use the laptops, I could have run some quick copies of the photos, and had the kids hold up sheets of paper with answers for the quiz and survey. 

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