Today I spent the free time working in Google Sites trying to create a web site that I can bring home (without using my normal Dreamweaver tool). I wanted the site to contain as many of the apps and information I have heard over the last week. If there are things that I left out, I would be glad to add them in. So, if you have the time to view the site, please let me know either in the comments or in an email. I am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of this weeks workshop. https://sites.google.com/site/tli2012reflections/
I could have avoided some headaches earlier this year had I known about Dropittome. Instead, I asked students to share evaluations (in which they graded each member of his/her group) in dropbox. It only took one snooping student to disrupt the integrity of the system. Point 1 – secure sharing through dropbox.
While the google suite of applications is expansive and straightforward, with some unique functionality, GoogleForms will not likely offer much value add in my current classroom. Forms with MC responses or very brief written responses work well – not so much for a more formal evaluation, where I’m looking for students to elaborate. In additional hurdle exists, as well, in that students can return multiple submissions – not ideal. Still, perhaps a more appropriate solution, discovered today, is http://www.polleverywhere.com/ Creating MC questions (or using past AP questions) and allowing students to text a code that corresponds with a given answer allows immediate feedback for instructor and students alike. This content could be shared among teachers between sections, a nice feature, I think. Here, it is simple to limit the number of responses an individual to generate, to one or any other specified number. The data is displayed and arranged in a useful manner, I found. Point 2: Polleverywhere > GoogleForms (for me, anyway).
We’ve spoken fairly extensively about the possibility of using video content as part of the learning process. While there are some definite merits to the ‘flipped’ approach, Will identified a point yesterday in his post that I identify with. Considering the amount of information we give our students, regardless the form, is important. A greater reliance on students responding to questions and forming their own take away lessons is required. How to make this happen? Especially for that hard to reach audience who lacks the drive and determination to reason through problems. Is it based on group activity? Do we need to shun a firm A-Z curriculum driven model to make this happen. I count myself among the guilty parties, here. There are classes where content needs covering, where I answer to a higher power. I wouldn’t even contend that I’m the final word on what is the most important. Just because something is important to me, and I think students will take something valuable away and help prepare them for life beyond Choate doesn’t mean that others agree. I can’t boil this down to a Point 3. Apologies.
Thanks to Matty Bardoe for listening today (and all year), offering advice, provoking conversation, philosophizing and pushing me to think about things I usually don’t and things I do, but in a different light. And for being an all-around boss.
Getting the gift of learning about so many sites and applications that could be put to beneficial use in the classroom is kind of like having Christmas morning and my birthday all at once. It’s great to have built-in play time to experiment with tools such as WordPress or Prezi, however, especially when I have a knowledgeable instructor there to lend a hand when I just start spinning around in circles while working on a practice project. Though it promises to offer quite a few possibilities, at times working with WordPress is less than intuitive, but perseverance seems like the wise route to me. Most useful will be the listings of great sites on the TLI site so I can get back to them over the next couple of months and even well into the coming school year.