I bought myself a cakepop maker a few weeks ago, one of those sit-on-the-counter, plug-it-in, fill-with-batter and cook kind of things.
This past Saturday I used the cakepop maker to make breakfast for my kids. I made pancake batter, and then my son wanted blueberries in his; my daughter wanted chocolate and plain; I wanted to try swirling in a little strawberry jam.
To make several different kinds of pancakes would require several different bowls and spoons. It’s possible, but it would take some time and be a bit messy.
With the cakepop maker, I could pour plain batter in each little round compartment and then individualized each one. A few blueberries in some, chocolate chips in another, a few left alone. It was really easy to personalize each one since they cooked up seperately.
Having the right tool make all the difference.
I had the thought that this is the same advantange we have using 1:1 devices with students.
If I’m planning a lesson for the whole class, I can differentiate the materials used for students, but it often takes a lot of prep time to put together. It’s a challenge, especially, to find things for students that will take them similar amounts of time and that will focus on what they really need most – not just busy work.
With 1:1 devices suddenly it becomes so much easier to personalize. I add a little of something for one student, a little of something else for another. Reading materials, especially, become easier to find and assign to the appropriate students.
Even better, students can be given some choices about how and when they work. Want to review yesterday’s work before starting today’s assignment? Great! Want to finish the reading lesson you started this morning before moving on to math? That could be a great choice too!
I bought myself an Android tablet last Christmas and got an identical one for my daughter. Hers is set up so that she can’t get out on the internet except to sites I approve, so that the music and videos and apps she likes the best are easy to access, and with a cover designed to keep the tablet in one piece if/when it’s ever dropped.
Mine doesn’t even look like the same device: different cover, different way to login, very different apps and purposes. They are individualized for each of us.
I love that technology makes this possible, that it can help us complete the tasks we have more quickly and efficiently and that it can help us reach our students in a way that won’t be quite the mess as it might have before.