Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bruce may have just explained to me why my writing workshop was oh, so lame in this post:
I think the portfolio system works really well with certain kids. But it also, in my experience, sets up another kind of kid for a hard fall. The kid I'm thinking of is the somewhat unorganized kid with a lot of outside interests who has a tendency to let things slide until its just past the time when it's possible to actually get it done. They tend to assume, in the absence of other feedback, that they're doing fine, that everything is okay. Then when they find out it's too late and they've let the work pile up too long, and that their grade is going to be a D or an F, they freak out. As do their parents.
That sounds like a good 25% of all my former students. I can be so blind!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Classroom MP3 Players

I was substituting at the junior high school today, and while teaching Sheltered US History in third period, I had a vision:

A classroom set of MP3 players. I haven't fully developed this, so bear with me. But with a classroom set you can have numerous audio books for dependent readers. You could get players with built in microphones so students and groups could podcast - perhaps podcast book talks for their peers looking for a good book to read. They're going to listen to their peers and classmates before they listen to anyone else about what books are good. These could be posted online or in a virtual library in the classroom, and selected ones downloaded to the MP3 player when a student is looking for a new book. A classroom set would also make my revision and commenting process equally accessible under the same medium for all students. I could even podcast my direct instruction and modeling each day for students that are absent, though video might be better. This may not be financially feasible just yet, but as technology gets smaller and cheaper, I think it will be.

I think there are more possibilities here. Can you think of any?