At the moment, I am trying to get my Year 9 students to create a lab report. They can use any technology they like and the experiment is a very straight-forward one. However, I have needed IT support in my room every lesson, and have been completely stressed out by the students who are struggling to save and/or analyse their work. This idea of our young people being "Digital Natives" is proving to be a real misnomer!
I have learned a very important lesson here: I need to allow for more differentiation regarding the use of technology, not just for the Science being taught. I was hoping that the freedom would allow students to discover ways to create a lab report and how to use technology to help them. Instead, it has created stress for some poor souls, and for me!
In the future, I am going to set up a space where I will work with students having particular issues. For example, on Day One of this task next year, I plan to show the students how to film and/or photograph themselves doing the experiment and upload this to their SkyDrive (or YouTube, or something similar). On Day Two, I plan to show the students how to put their results into a table, then create a graph from these results. Those who do not need the tuition can just get on with their work.
I am hoping this approach will better-cater for those who are not the "Digital Natives" I hoped would be entering my classroom while still allowing others to move ahead if they already have great ideas. I would love some comments...