Friday, February 4, 2011

Everything is available all the time

    Even before I used Moodle with my classes, my school provided Edline, which gave each teacher a webpage for every class. Edline provides both email to parents and a plain vanilla webpage with no options to change the layout, but it’s a great place to store stuff.  (Before that I had a Teacherweb webpage, also plain vanilla.)  Every rubric, every graphic organizer, every reference handout, every study guide gets posted there.  Now, suddenly, if kids lose their study guide, it’s right there available 24/7.  If parents want to see the rubric, it’s right there.
24/7photo © 2010 Memphis CVB | more info (via: Wylio)

    When a student whines that they can’t find their assignment description, I can refer them to the Edline page.  When they lose it, I tell them to print out another copy.  I stopped making lots of extra copies of handouts for all the disorganized kids.  They have a place they can all get to at any time.  Even if their home printer isn’t working, they can still read the materials online.

    No more wiggle room!  I forgot the handout/whatever at school no longer works as an excuse.  Since I provide the basic vocabulary information online, “I forgot my textbook” also doesn’t wash. 

    I also post PowerPoints so if a student has missed class, or wants to review a PowerPoint, it’s available. 

    Links to internet resources are clickable so nobody has to key in the address and frustratingly get it wrong (or use that as an excuse…) 

    It helps keep me organized, too, because everything is posted online where I can get to it.

    The Moodle provides much more flexibility in organization than Edline, which I love, but regardless I put everything online.  Everything.  I also put everything both on the Edline class webpages and on the Moodle. Edline is accessible to parents as well as students, and has a standard format for all their child’s classes.  Since kids sometimes forget their login passwords to the Moodle, having the material available on Edline means they still can do the work – no excuses.  It’s a little extra work for me, but the dividends are enormous. 

    From parent and student comments, I can tell that posting materials online is helpful.  I teach middle school students, the most distracted and disorganized students you can imagine.  Having everything there any time, all the time is a real blessing.  Of course, for kids (and parents) looking for excuses, this has been more of a curse, but you can’t please everybody, now can you? 

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