ichat

5 09 2008

There has been some debate about ichat recently through email about the merits of ichat and the strategies to use to monitor it. Some suggestions have been set about desks at the back of the room to monitor the student work. This is great in a ‘normal’ class room but what about when you only have the classes in CAPA block or the textiles room, or a room that does not have a traditional set up. And whilst you can be logged into ichat on your own lap top, this does not help when students require help and you are not at your desk. I sent a double period with year 7 doing a comic life activity. They were fantastic, but i didn’t get back to my desk too often due to the questions they had. Lucky Steve was monitoring them and no one was on ichat, but these situations can be tough. Any suggestions on this?

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5 responses

5 09 2008
tarakirby

ichat can be a very useful tool, if used appropriately. I often get students to send me their work through ichat because it is more efficient. However, some students do abuse this application and are often coming up with excuses on why they are on ichat. I find it hard to monitor the use of ichat because I do teach Technology and I am constantly roaming around the room helping students with their projects. I have my notebook open when teaching, with ichat open and the sound up loud listening for the ichat sound when somebody logs on. This alerts me to someone new being on ichat, which i can quickly check to see if it is anyone in my class. I give instant notifications for anyone using ichat inappropriately.

5 09 2008
carolynsaid

Interesting post! I agree that the placement of teacher’s desk at the back of the room is a positive action to monitor student activity (and accept that it is difficult in textiles/ CAPA etc).

However, I find that I’m hardly at my desk anyway- especially when year 7 students are working with their notebooks- there are always 101 questions or I am checking individual progress. To overcome this, when I know a lesson is going to be busy-moving about the room I simply connect my mac to the data projector and sign into ichat- that way students can monitor each other! The other action that I have tried is to go on remote desktop and connect to the data projector (more a scare tactic than anything else!).

Word of warning: make sure you write in the ichat list under your name that you are in class- I’ve had colleagues message me through ichat me whilst connected to the data projector- not great for students- especially when colleagues are venting workplace frustrations!

10 09 2008
lmiller1979

Carolyn, i think thats the best idea yet. As most people are aware i have been going crazy with the inappropriate use of iChat and even though yr 7 are told time and time again it doesn’t always get through. If everyone can clearly see (through the projector) that it’s being monitored then they’re definitely not going to risk getting caught on it. Steve, John and myself regularly go on to check up on them but it’s not enough.
As teachers in this 1:1 situation we need to work together to make sure students only use iChat when required. Especially for next year when there will be 3 year groups it’s up to us that we maintain the same level of supervision.

12 09 2008
dhatton

If there is more than one way to transfer files, why use ichat? We can easily get the kids to use the dropbox, common folder, email, eLfs and the like to get files that they need to share. I don’t Yr7 this year but I know of the trouble that Loz had been having and I am anticipating even more with three year groups next year. Some Yr9’s will go for broke. My suggestion is to leave ichat on staff machines only as it is a useful tool for communicating from the bottom blocks if needed particularly during exam time. Take ichat off the students and we will eliminate another time consuming activity for Yr Coords who will be chasing bullying and harrasement being done this way. Kids having been passing notes around for centuries of schooling, we are now giving them the tool to pass notes between classes not just within.

12 09 2008
giovannicoppola

some good discussion here
mmmm, food for thought

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