Technology Loyalty

In my previous post I discussed how I would be creating a Google Classroom for better connections, organization and enhancements of in-class learning with my two ELA 9 classes. As it turns out our school system has invested resources into Microsoft cloud programs, Moodle and other online classroom learning based programs, and would therefore prefer for us as teachers to use those. This is not to say that I am not allowed to use GC, just that if I did and something went wrong as far as the technology side of things our technology department would not assist me as it would be out of their realm.

I am kind of disappointed as I was excited about GC, and the prospect of the user friendliness of it. Additionally, I have already invested a small amount of time in creating a GC. I admit it was not a tonne of time, but I was looking forward to having my students join me in the “classroom” soon and be my test subjects, offering some feedback and possibly some insight.

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I feel torn as I typically do what is expected of me, but I feel like it will be a tonne of more work to use an alternate program. Not as though I am looking to avoid a heavy workload, however it would be more of a learning curve for the students and myself. Either way here is what I know and need to achieve in this week:

  • Online sites and learning tools are time sensitive. We are already one month into the semester, if I do not get this up and running at least with a minimal amount of content it will not reach my desired level of usefulness for students.
  • I need to contact someone who has created an online space for their classroom using the resources available to me so that I can learn firsthand about their experiences.
  • In need to poll the learners and their use and experience with Google tools. Maybe I am overestimating the amount of students who use google.
  • I need to attempt to create an online classroom on the Microsoft cloud based system that I currently have access to for my email and my documents.

 

If you are reading this I would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and input. I really am dismayed and thought I had my Digital Learning Project on the go.

 

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Google Classroom

For my Major Digital Project for eci831 I am proposing to create a Google Classroom (GC) for my ELA 9 classes this semester. In my first post I discussed how I used to have a class blog that wasn’t accessed often by students. Initially, I thought I may do a student blogging project, but I believe that it would simply be adding one more technological tool on top of the ones they are already required to use. Here are my initial thoughts about my using GC:

Who? – This will be for my ELA 9 classes this semester. At this point I am thinking that just the students will have access. I will have separate GCs for my separate classes.

What? – Creating an online space that students can access with ease. Students will be able to access class documents, submit assignments and view a class calendar. Once those applications are functioning I will introduce student interaction where they can collaborate and add to our online space.

Where? – I will instruct and encourage students to access and use our GC during class with their cell phones or other personal devices.

When? – I would like to have a skeleton outline of my GC within a week. Obviously I will be adding to it and learning as I go. I will inform the students that they are part of my learning process.

Why? – To keep students connected and engaged in our classroom activities and learning. Also, because the online grading and attendance system that I have been referring students to for class documents is slow and not always functioning.

How? РI have already started learning about GC through my PLN by posting in the Business Educators Facebook group, and tweeting expressing interest in using it. I instantly received a handful of excellent replies and resources. A colleague here in Regina put my in touch with Mickie Muller who is the creator of Guide to Google Classroom, a comprehensive and direct guide. Additionally, below is an excellent, straightforward tutorial about the basics of GC.

 

If you are reading this and have any tips, suggestions or experience with GC, I would love to hear!

 

 

Forgot about Blogging

As I start my journey in EC&I 831 this semester I remembered that I have used a blog in the past. I used one during my pre-internship for required reflections, and during my internship for weekly class outlines and assignment links. I did however forget that I actually used one in my own teaching, again for weekly outlines, assignments and general useful links.

School Adams

I stopped using one as our school requires us to post student assignments on the online reporting, and attendance system. Students are also required to work through a school provided cloud type email and word processing tool. Therefore, I felt it was redundant to have a blog with the assignments. Basically, I was posting assignments twice, in addition it was directing students to another online tool. It did not seem to be worth my time and effort.

This leads me to wonder what are some effective ways teachers are using blogs and class websites. Or possibly, how they are better drawing students to their sites for class assignments and information. Clearly my classroom blog was not useful since even I had forgot about it…