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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Not falling through the cracks

While speaking to a friend, he asked, "What if a student doesn't buy into the idea of his own workspace and working on a project?" Good question. Getting the students to buy in is crucial. It has always amazed me that school works at all. To answer his question in light of my idea, I pointed out that the students would be working in groups as well as producing individual projects. I explained that when I graded group work, I gave the group a grade and then they, usually 5, would determine who gets what grade with these conditions: no two students get the same grade and all the grades have to average the group grade. This would account for the student who did more and the student who did less. Using programs like wiki, moodle, docs, and others, we would have a tech trail of participation as well as a final product as a webpage. Another reason a student wouldn't fall through the cracks was that we would have more than one teacher working with each group. So if a student has a problem with a teacher, another teacher or two could pick it up and help the student. The key is that we don't isolate anyone, student or teacher. Finally as we are seeing more and more use of technology in schools for parents who have more access to the daily doings like attendance, grades, comments, and homework assignments. Now when the student comes home, informed parents aren't asking "How was school dear?" They are addressing attendance or comments made by teachers or ready to talk about tonight's homework. The point is that the correct use of technology and rethinking schools, means no student falls through the cracks. My friend was assuaged.

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