Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Just because you can... doesn't mean you should..

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's posts.  Each entry brings feelings of relief, hope, comradeship - and absolutely, competition.  There are so many great uses of technology appearing in this blog that I feel inpired and desirous to add to the growing list of the great learning opportunities occuring.  I question how I'm using these awesome - and I do mean awesome - tools - (hoping that I NEVER take them for granted!).  But, last week, I took a step back from technology.  Most of my students grumbled, (loudly).  The reason is the purpose of this post.

I have said before, I love Edmodo.  It's got pretty much all a teacher could ask for, (and probably has those too - I just don't know how to access them yet.)  After two weeks of using Edmodo daily for my students' classwork, I was faced with a mountain - a Kilomanjaro actually, of assignments that needed grading!  Of course I knew I was creating Assignments daily, but over the course of the ten day period, I had amassed a total of over 600 "turned in" assignments to grade!!! - Yes, I had been whittling them down, but you know that "out of sight, out of mind" addage?  I must have been out of my mind!  And progress reports were coming due!

So, back to paper/pencil we went.  We still used our laptops; Audio Dropbox, Tagxedo, Symbaloo, and of course, Powerpoint, as well as Word, Voki, BBC for Kids, other Foreign Language learning sites, but I stayed away Edmodo and I told my students what I had done and that we would return when I had cleared the decks, so to speak.

I can now report, I am almost at sea level again, but I've also found another consideration!! (Close a door.. Open a Window!) Today, I used Wallwisher for my bellringers!  - Talk about a community of learners!  I posted questions for each class, and the students, in the target language, responded.  The ones who "got it", were done quickly, those who struggled  - as they realized they'd been given the "pattern" by their peers' answers, they were able to complete theirs as well!  And it was a great way to see at a glance who didn't "get it"!

It was a "village"! I had the students identify themselves with their last names, and took a screen shot of the site for a grading reference later.  I'm looking into other "boards" as well. So far, Corkboard Me, Pindax, (more feature/complex), Popplet, (have to log in). Any others that you've found successful?

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