Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grading / Social Networking

First off, I've been buried in grading college essays (70 students X 3 essays X 3 revisions = cross-eyed teacher) and final exams (two essays), and there have been a handful of things I've wanted to blog on this week, just haven't found / made the time. I need to work on that.

Tonight we learned about Classroom 2.0 which is a social networking site which lends itself well to education. It took me awhile to figure out why this would be helpful, and then it hit me like Mike Tyson.

School-wide for teachers: set up a network / forum within your school where you can keep up with what other teachers are doing. Everything from "Does anyone have an LED projector" to "my kids' test scores went up 20% last week!" to "I'm really losing it, does anyone want to go out after work?" Like the prof said, teaching can be a lonely job. Not in that you're ever alone, but in that some days I barely leave my room for 10 minutes between 830 and 2pm. That's kind of nuts.

By department for teachers: would be great for sharing best practices, discussing lessons, calendar, etc. Would be an easy place to coordinate.

For students in class: Kids could help each other out in various formats. In my class there could be a thread for each chapter in a book where students could discuss what they read, and I could make it part of the grade (posting something original). It could be a place to get help on projects (i.e. "Hey, I'm struggling with writing my thesis statement - is anyone good at writing those?") Or just a place to keep track of lessons / projects.

For students school-wide: Post upcoming events, concerns, ideas, etc.

That's all I have for now, I need to examine their site more. Learned a few more sites tonight (Ubuntu, Open Office) which I also need to examine.

But first, the essays call...

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