Smartboard Attendance–shutting it down

Thanks to all who commented and were so enthusiastic about my little smartboard experiment (Post 1, Post 2, Post 3, and Post 4).  It was so gratifying to see others get some use out of my little brainstorm-turned-spreadsheet.

I did think it only fair to let everyone know that I’m not using it anymore.  The system just didn’t do what I needed it to do, namely, 1) enforce my tardy policy and 2) free me up to do other things, like teaching.

At its core, the problem was this:  this technology was not sufficient to enforce procedure, which, really, is the point.  The attendance tap was supposed to be the last in a sequence of entering-the-room tasks before taking one’s seat:

  1. come in,
  2. dispose of gum/food/weapons/drugs, etc.,
  3. drop backpacks,
  4. get music folder,
  5. tap in,
  6. take seat. 

It NEVER went that way. 

The students invariably took this sequence: 

  1. tap in,
  2. leave room to talk in the hallway with loser boyfriend/girlfriend until the bell rings,
  3. drop backpacks,
  4. get music folder,
  5. take seat, dispose of gum/food, etc. only when called out by me,
  6. stare in shocked disbelief at the smartboard showing their status returned to “Absent” because of their post-tap excursion to the hallway. 

At no point when using the smartboard to track attendance did I have a class-full of seated students when the bell rang.  I still had to yell, “Let’s go!  In your seat, you little…!”

The kids enjoyed using the smartboard so much that they would race each other to tap in ALL the names they could.  Some of this was innocent excitement and some of it was malicious system-manipulation (“But, Mr. Davis, Buffy just called me from the parking lot and asked me to tap her in because she’s here on time…”).  I found myself having to spend my time policing the tapping procedure, more time than I would have spent simply policing the attending procedure.

At the end of the day, the most effective attendance-taking method was my presence at the podium, refusing admission to students without a front-office-issued tardy pass who were not in their seats when the bell rang .  One day of that, and we did fine thereafter.

Teaching-lesson #273:  The teacher must enforce the policy.  Never push policy enforcement onto a system or onto a student helper.  It’s worth it to take the time to give the policy teeth, preferrably your teeth.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Smartboard Attendance–shutting it down”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Tweet, tweet….

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Recent Comments

Jason on Reliving, part 2
Jakob Aas Thomas 10t… on The Smartboard
Tina R. Cruz on Reliving, part 2
sally on Reliving, part 2
Tim Jones on Rob Bell, Heaven and Hell
December 2008
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Jan »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

%d bloggers like this: