Monday, March 15, 2010

Accountability has Never Been Easier

I love the Internet. I love teaching my students the importance of being accountable. But using one to facilitate the other? That's like a bowl of "awesome" covered with "awesome sauce!"

I have been using my computer to email parents directly from class, and as so many parents are working with computers as part of their daily routine, they get the update on their child's progress, (or lack thereof) really quickly. I find parents are more likely to respond using email than they are by phone, or at the very least, respond the same day.

Taking it a step further, one of the teachers on my campus has installed skype. I have skype. When I was teaching his class, and I needed to discuss with him about students that had not completed work for my class, I skyped him. Good idea too, as we have six buildings on our campus, and he and I are about as far apart as you can get and still be on campus. It takes about 3-4 minutes to walk across campus.

Not every teacher wishes to be disturbed on their prep period, but we work quite closely together, and he addressed the class over my speakers. I was able to get work turned in to me the next day, instead of spending a week chasing stragglers.

I wonder if I can get other teachers on skype? I wonder if I could set up a conference call between teachers and parents over skype and cell phones? It would save time and effort, and have a much more immediate effect on the students who are....reluctant, to get their work in on time. I will propose it to other teachers, and see what they say.

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