On the third day of our PSSA retakes, my classes were once again around ten to twelve students per class. I had about a fifty-fifty mix of experienced users to new users. Granted my experienced users had one or two days of using the iPods in class, but it was enough for this type of setting.
The students were able to review the sign out and sign in procedures, and explain why they had to give the iPods back to me if they were using the hall pass during class. Basic review is good, we need to make these procedures second nature, normal class sizes are around twenty-five students per class.
The rest of the period we had the new users set up Google Apps if their iPod was not already set up. Students who had used the iPods previously served as mentors for the new users. They worked with Google Apps, Documents 2, and Evernote. They also jumped on Safari and worked on accessing the class Diigo account and my Netvibes class page. The students practiced expanding or making the screen larger by using their fingers on the screen. The typical practice is to place two fingers close together on the screen and move them away from each other to expand the text. The opposite action makes the text smaller so you can see more of a web page at one time.
To me it looks like the old “Kids in the Hall” skit where they “crush each others’ heads.” They would look at each other through their thumb and forefinger so the other person’s head was located in the space. They would close their fingers together and say, “I am crushing your head!” There was a way to block this, if a person noticed what was going on…but I digress.
This was the last day of small group work and I had seen most of my students on one of the days. My students were ready to mentor each other as needed. I gave out five participation points for each day of class for their promise to do this. The students seemed at ease with the iPods in this short time. So far, so good…