After the first lesson of this week I was not a happy bunny! It was really hard. I was in two minds about writing this blog post - I can see iPad critics smirking as they read it - but then I reminded myself that I was writing an honest blog about this project, warts and all. And, as I have heard myself saying so many times this week, to so many people, it is a trial, an experiment and as such it is expected that things will go wrong from time to time. And we will learn from them and hopefully won't make the same mistakes again!
The long and short of it is that I tried something new (again), didn't work (my fault) and the pupils suddenly seemed very unmotivated, which isn't like them. There was a point in the lesson where I asked the pupils what they wanted to do and they told me they wanted to use pen and paper, which then left me feeling equally deflated, and so we spent the rest of the hour sitting in a very unhappy room!
I had been so wrapped up in my own thoughts about the trial, that I hadn't really been thinking enough about how the pupils were feeling. I had just assumed that they were happy - they had iPads, which they loved, and as far as I could see, all was good. But as much 'stuff' as there is for me to get my head around, the pupils also have a lot to think about - each lesson they have to learn not just French but a new iPad skill, invariably they have to set up a new account, remember their password, sometimes the app will work first time, sometimes it just won't, sometimes we have to start all over again, sometimes we just give up and try something different.... and all of this must be quite frustrating for them too!
I have learnt something from this lesson though - don't try something new every lesson. There is plenty of time to try new things. Allow the pupils a bit of a break from time to time - use apps they already know. If they want a piece of paper, give them a piece of paper (they can always take a photo of it).
3 days away from their iPad classroom they came back re-enthused, desperate to use their iPads again - I knew it wouldn't last!!