While I am a pretty technologically savvy teacher and have used many tools with my students in class to help them learn, there still are so many great options to learn about. This week I immersed myself into the arena of social networking and how to implement it effectively in the classroom. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many great reasons to consider adding these options to my teaching arsenal.
What have I learned that I was not previously aware of?
I am much more enlightened as to how Edmodo (and now Schoology, too) work and how either of these classroom social networks could be implemented into a few of my classes very easily. I am also now inclined to add having my students build their own social bookmarking sites (probably Delicious) to keep track of their important links, including the many that I provide them for class. I have had too many occurrences where students don’t remember how to get to a particular site that we are using for an assignment. By having the students keep their sites in one place, this should eliminate this problem. Additionally, since they use Wordpress to write about their experiences and to post their creations, they can add their Delicious bookmarks right into their pages as a widget.
What has been clarified?
I didn’t realize that Edmodo (and now Schoology, as well) can offer a teacher excellent time savings in the area of assessments and data accumulation. The quiz feature is a great way for a teacher to help expedite the entire assessment process while being able to curtail cheating through question randomization.
Another point that I found enlightening is knowing what the key elements to digital citizenship. I have had many instances over the years where I have had to deal with issues in this area that students have crossed boundaries on. I am happy to have a proper policy in place that I intend on implementing in my class at the start of next year, along with the lesson that I created as part of the same project. I want my students to be better digital citizens and teaching them these skills is the best way get them started on the right path.
What do I want to pursue to find out more?
I am going to explore Edmodo and Schoology in more detail to determine which one I want to use with my classes next year. I think that using either of these can not only reduce some of the typical teacher-type time burdens, but have a central location for students to begin their learning from. I am also going to investigate Twitter a little further to find a few ways to use it with my news show students to help them create descriptive, but to-the-point writings to use in their video creations.