Overcoming Tech Difficulties over the Pond

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The Edcitement on this side of the pond in Ireland continues, as we have started going into classrooms to demonstrate how to use the different features on the site. I want to highlight the great experience I had working with 3rd class and 6th class students in Falcarragh, Donegal thismonth.

Arriving to the 3rd class, the students greeted me with a traditional Irish tin whistle performance.

Well, within minutes we encountered our first challenge of the day: the school site had blocked Edcite! Because our site was so new and had a link to our blog on the page, it was classified as a blog or personal site instead of an educational site. Thankfully, this school has such a wonderful principal and one who was very invested in giving this website a try and partnered with us in overcoming the challenge.

After Falcarragh’s amazing principal worked with the district to lift the filtering restrictions for two hours, we brought our third class girls into the lab, and did an Edcite assignment about third class/grade division. They loved being able to drag the numbers and see so many different images. After lunch, the teacher ushered the girls back to class to continue their maths practice online, and encouraged them to keep it a “secret” from the boys. As everyone reading this probably could predict, it took all of five minutes before that secret was out! All the boys fumed that they couldn’t do the maths practice on the computer.

I sat down with Patricia to review how to use Edcite with her own students. Check out what she has to say about the experience here:  

After third class, we brought in sixth class to do reading comprehension. Although the level of reading was a bit rigorous for a few of the kids, the interactive question types kept them very engaged. The feedback I got from the different students included:

“It was easier to read the work on the computer than the photocopies we usually get.”

“The work was hard, but I thought it was fun doing it on the computer.”

“I like using Edcite–we should use it more!”

Circulating the classroom, I appreciated the transparency Edcite provided. I could clearly see which students were breezing through the assignment and which students needed more time.

One factor to consider when using multimedia in your classroom , is whether or not your students need headphones. We only had one pair of headphone so students took turns watching a specific video clip on my iPad with my headphones.

Even with the site block challenge and the shortage of headphones—I consider the day a success. Every challenge we encountered that day, led us to learning and improving. And at the end of the day, the students were engaged in their learning and enjoyed their learning.

Bio PictureJulia Sweeney, although currently working for Edcite in Ireland, is originally from Roseville, CA and went to University of the Pacific. She joined the Teach For America Delta Corps in 2011, where she taught middle school English and American History. She has a passion for education and exploring the vast potential technology offers  education systems, worldwide.

Note to any Irish Teachers: Reach out if you’d like to sit down and go through the site, give any feedback, or brainstorm ways you can use Edcite in your class! You can reach her via email at julia@edcite.com or on Twitter  @juliasween.

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