Friday, December 17, 2004

blog whats due

over on bearcatenglish it shows a good example of a teacher blogging to the students what is due and expected. do you guys think that is a good use of technology or is that expecting too much.
*not all students have internet, so its unfair
*teacher could be publicly scrutinized for the method used
*what if teacher doesn't update, does that mean what was said in class is not due?

*parents know FOR SURE what was assigned and how to direct the children
*all students get the same expectations, no 'special assigments'
*students cant say they lost the assignment
*teacher isn't called at night to be asked what the assigmnet is
*teaches use of modern technology as well as the subject at hand

is it good or not?


Mrs. Webster said...

I just heard our class blog was mentioned on your website, so I had to check it out.

In my classroom, I have one computer for each student. We were very fortunate a few years ago to receive grant money, and because I showed the administration how I would use them, I got a classroom full of them. I also have a Smartboard that we use often.

My blog is the first site that opens when students in my room log onto the Internet. I have a message for them each day and what is expected of them. Many were "claiming" that they didn't know what the assignments were each day, what was due, etc. even though it was posted on a whiteboard in class. Each day they now log on, read my comments, and do a brief "bellringer" or assignment that prepared them for English class.

When a student misses, he/she CAN, if chosen, work on the assignment at home. They can also go the old-fashioned route, by calling the office and asking for what they miss. I teach in a low-poverty district, so I cannot expect them to all have computers with Internet. I also like that parents can, at any time, see firsthand what their children are doing in class and what is due. Students aren't always honest with their parents :)

Students like the use of technology. It makes them more interested in the subject and the hands-on keeps them on task.

Sarah said...

Thanks, Mrs. Webster, for stopping by and giving details! It seems like having computers not only available but actively required in the classroom addresses many of the potential concerns, not to mention the very useful experience it gives students. I think this is a great use of technology, and I hope other teachers adopt this and similar ideas.

Here in Idaho, I just heard on the news this week that a comprehensive plan to use technology to keep parents informed has been scrapped, due to its (if I recall the number accurately) $18 million price tag. (!) I could develop a comprehensive system for them for under $50,000 and keep yearly costs under $10,000, so I am kind of glad they won't be going with such an overpriced plan, but I'm sorry that they seem to have scrapped the idea. Hopefully it will be reincarnated in a more fiscally responsible form.

palegreenhorse said...

commendations to mrs. webster for an excellent implimentation of technology! my mom (a high school teacher too) tells me students seem to conveniently not know the assignment all the time, so this solves that problem. mrs. webster also shows that she thought about problems and subsequent excuses and has a great answer for them. well done and so my conclusion is that blogging homework should be standard.

forkev said...

outstanindg use of technology.
my bosses wife is a teacher at a k-10 school (she has the upper grades) and has notebooks for each student. if that student is there for 3 or more years, than the notebook becomes theirs. a cool plan, yet i digress.

i believe it's outstanding to have technology in the classroom. even if you go the open source route and put it on ancient hardware - a browser, keyboard, and open office can do a lot to promote classroom learning - therefore, like sara, i beleive it's good that schools keep an eye on the total cost of ownership.

i would incourage any teacher to setup a system for submission (if not paper based) to INCLUDE a way for the studen to send the file to a central server - this way everything can be backed up. most people, including myself, manage to screw up a computer about the time some big assignment comes due. if you were to build in a process that protected the student, then you may releive them of this potential stress.

my bosses wife has very strict (and loving) control of the classroom, and as a guest speaker i was amazed to look across the sea of laptops, and observer that when she requested that 'screens down' EACH student did as requested, thus negating the petential distraction.

as far as students staying on task, i've read about using vnc (remote control software) to randamly choose a student's screen and put it on the projector (or screen up front) so each student knows they have the option of having EVERYONE see what they are doing at any time. embarassment and risk usually keep students on task. read more information about that concept here

k2h said...

wow... what started as 5 minutes of random surfing over lunch and then writing a quick 'piece' had a very informative response! (I use the term liberaly as my writing is less than stellar and I don't usually spell check anything)

Jen: thanks for taking the time to contact Mrs Webster!
Mrs Webster: thanks for the response! its great to have new blood of input to the site
sarah: what strings do we need to pull to get you that 50k contract?
kev: your mind wanders as much as mine does.

Amandaxr said...

I am terribly sorry for my slight intrusion here but I thought that I just wanted to add a little bit of my thoughts. First all for the pros: faster, and there is saved evidence that the teacher has indeed assigned certain assignments, model essays by students can be edited and printed directly instead of having to be retyped out, immediate response from the teacher if he/ she happens to be online.
The cons: that the usage of Internet to assign homework is just one of those glorified ways (ie. cliched) of teachers trying to inject some interests in students, costly (requires a lot of government fund).
ps. was wondering whehter this was a class blog or something? If it is, I am terribly sorry, well, at least your discussions were captivating enough to make me stop while clicking away on the 'next blog' icon. (shrugs)

k2h said...

hey! we got a new visitor! thanks for stopping by. to answer your question, this is NOT a class blog. well not a modern class per-say. we all use to be students together but have since graduated and moved on in life. the posting group is comprised of two electrical engineers (i am one of those), a chemist, a business/computer expert (my brother), a mechanical engineering student, 4'th year (my other brother), a biologist that just graduated, and even a professional librarian turned web developer! thus the term 'nerdy tales' I think I need to put something to this effect on the main page so people know to inject their random thoughts at at whim. it makes it fun.