Sunday, March 6, 2016

My "Glass" Classroom

I love being inspired by other people. I love learning about the latest pedagogy, website or app to use in my classroom. Being a connected educator allows me to learn anytime anywhere.

The latest chance for me to implement the above mentioned scenario was this week when I noticed the topic on the weekly Twitter chat #Hacklearning. The topic was about creating a Glass Classroom. I was immediately interested in this topic. I have been implementing a few new ideas to try and increase the transparency in my classroom.

The first way is by increasing my use of Google Classroom. I am fortunate that all of the students have accounts for Google Drive. This allows us to utilize Google Classroom daily. I was able to find a way, with a lot of help from our tech guy, to link the assignments I put on Google Classroom to a google calendar that parents can access. My ultimate hope is that they sync this calendar with their own. Ideally, this would be great to have on their smartphones so they are updated instantly. I know I have some students that have done this to help with their organization. Sure beats the small spiral notebook I carried around with me in school!

Secondly, I have started diving into essential questions more in my classroom. My students were asked to spend a few weeks thinking about an essential question centered around the topic we are working on. For example, my Algebra students were working on factoring polynomials. As a result, I was asking them to consider a time in life when breaking something down, or simplifying it, can help us better solve a problem. I was thrilled with the responses I received. They ranged from a discussion of breaking down major league baseball to how a doctor breaks down symptoms to attempt to cure a patient. I am hoping to share these responses with you next week after I check with the authors.

I am also in the process of having the Blogger option made available for our 7th and 8th grade students. I am hoping this platform will give the students a platform to share their thinking and learning with a wider audience. This venture has taken a little longer than I would have liked because of administrative rights within the server. I am hopeful in the near future to be able share my students' thinking with you.

So, with all of these additions, do I have everyone on board? Absolutely not. I just had two students last week as me, rather disbelievingly, "You put our assignments on Google Classroom?" In addition, with my linking the assignments daily to a calendar, I still have a parent that will claim they were not made aware of a project due date. I am always looking to improve communication with everyone and feel the above additions are going to help me achieve that.

How do you share what goes on in your Glass Classroom? I would love to hear from you...

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