The most exciting thing is happening in first grade. I have students who are asking to take on the daily role of tech support for their table group. Kids who are actually getting upset if they cannot be tech support. Students who otherwise have not put themselves in a leadership position.
Let me back up for a moment to explain. This class has recently started “glogging” using eduglogster. It has been about five days since we began so the children are becoming quite adept at making their way through the school server and folders to get to the eduglogster shortcut. It amazes me on a regular basis how well these first grade students can follow the several-step directions, many without even needing to look at the board. It should be no surprise to me since last year’s first graders did the same thing, but it still makes my eyes water when the teacher and I talk about how great they are doing.
So we have been creating glogs over the last week and having the time devoted to this is definitely making it easier for both the teachers and the students. I find, not surprisingly, that the frequency of use correlates with the subsequent ease of use.
The other day the idea of tech support came up when one student was helping another edit some text on their glog. I mentioned that perhaps that student would like to be their tech support table captain and help out their classmates as needed. One after the other, children from other tables were volunteering for this position until we had a set of support for both that day and the next. These students went to each child at their table to be sure that they were saving and logging out properly and did this with such an air of authority and responsibility; they were Tech Support after all.
Each time I go into the class, the students are already signed up to be the tech support for the day and they take this title very seriously, checking in with their classmates to see if they need help.
This is not the first time that students have helped each other. Usually when I work with a student on something, it becomes their responsibility to teach the next person. If a students figures something out, they share that with their neighbors. The only difference between these two situations is that I gave what they were doing a title and they owned it.
Why do I share this with you? If first grade students can do this, certainly older students can do this as well. We should be utilizing these students to empower them and to acknowledge their changing role in the classroom– as contributing members in an ever-changing classroom context.