This week’s topic is an interesting one for me. I have always struggled with tracking student’s work and progress. I am becoming far more organized with online things than I have been with hard copies in paper. For me it is easier and less messy to track things utilizing web resources. I will often joke with my students; my desk could be compared to a black hole. Don’t put anything close to it or it will be sucked in and taken to another dimension. Our goal for this week’s discussion is to identify and describe an idea to utilize new technology to break our paper-trained mindset.
My idea deals with both the storing of student information and records and the way in which students complete work. I teach a class called Math lab for students who struggle in Mathematics. Previously, students in my class utilized folders to track their work which were cumbersome and very often lost by the student. To replace those folders, I plan to keep a classroom wiki next year where each student I have will maintain their own page. You can create a free space at Wikispaces if you are a K-12 educator . They are trying to give away 100,000 free wikispaces to teachers. They are Plus Plan wikis so they are ad free. I plan to have students reflect upon their learning at least one time each week…If possible every day during the end of each class period. Each student’s wiki page will serve as a place where others can comment on their reflection and on any work they complete in it. Evaluation and commenting on the work of peers will be encouraged.I have recently been reading the work of Konrad Glogowski on the effectiveness of classroom blogging. My classroom wikis will be similar to the blogs he discusses in his work. In fact, I just finished attending a workshop led by Dr. Glogowski this morning on Ustream Television and in Second Life where he presented his ideas. The fact that I can watch a presentation in San Antonio, discuss it with educators in Australia, all from the comfort of my own kitchen is indicative of how much our world is changing…has changed.