Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wearable Computer - Student Data - Using Technology


I started getting into computers around 1995. Back then I thought it would be pretty cool to carry my computer around with me. I wasn’t thinking about the early laptops, but literally rebuilding the desktop computer stuffing it into a backpack and carrying it around.
I thought I could break the keyboard into two pieces and strap them to my thighs. I would put teeny tiny projectors inside dark sunglasses and that could be the monitor. Way back then everything was dial up so I thought the portable modems of the day could be used as a mobile dial up. Then of course everything would have to be hooked to a giant car battery or something.
Obviously I never pursued this, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.
I-O Keyboard from http://nexus404.com/
There are small Bluetooth keyboards  Though I don’t see why they don’t make them so you can split them into two pieces.
3-D glasses from Zetronix http://www.zetronix.com/
There are wearable monitors. 
http://cdn.slashphone.com/sp/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/lg-ks-20-smartphone.jpg
And there are smart phones.
What does this have to do with math? (keep reading I’ll get there eventually)
Currently, I’m working on my type 75 and we are learning about walk-throughs, quick three- to five-minute observations. The non-threatening, non-evaluative walk-throughs give principals a quick snapshot of student learning. The data collected from these walkthroughs are then used to start on conversation on how to improve instruction in the school.
Following the lead of Science Leadership Academy in Philly and Van Meter Elementary in Iowa we created a Google form for our walk-through.
As I practiced using the form on my smart phone I realized this was very similar to something I tried to do way back when I was a student teacher.  Then I tried to carry around a clipboard to take notes on my students while they were working. It didn’t work because the students were more interested in what I was writing than what they were supposed to be doing.
Now I might not spend $300 dollars to get some fancy glasses, but I might spend $55 on a keyboard that I can wirelessly connect to my phone, or even my desktop computer as long as I am within 30 feet. I might then create a quick form for each lesson with checkboxes of skills I want my students to learn. I can even add a section for notes and type those in real quick using the keyboard. (That is of course if you can type without looking at the screen) I am now collecting tons of data everyday on my students. I won’t be guessing who will pass the next test, I’ll know.

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