Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time is not on my side... no it's not... x 3

I have tried in vain to get teachers to embrace the idea of using the net as a way to communicate with their parents.  Not only could they eliminate the barage of phone disturbrances..err I mean calls during their planning by simply reading parent email and responding when they felt necessary, but they could save many trees by posting their homework assignments on their page (since they already have it in a typed form anyway).  It's hard to hear screaming in a written form, do you know what I am saying?  (please enunciate that last part very clearly.)

A completely separate situation that I encounter is every child, whether of a well behaved variety or otherwise, begs to come to spend time with me in the slim hopes that they can get extra computer time.  Whether teachers like it or not (and most times not), kids are fascinated with technology.  They are not the least bit afraid of delving right in and mastering any digital form.  I was amazed at the number of kids in my school who maintain (albeit loosely) myspace pages.  Did I like that? Not really, but it was the act of maneuvering in an unknown territory that excited me. 

My third issue is my ingrained belief that discipline should be proactive instead of reactive.  I am from the school of positive behavior support instead of reactive screaming unhappiness.  Call me the deal maker if you will.  If I can use technology to lure poorly behaved children from the dark side into manageable, productive students in a classroom with the promise of more technology utilization, so be it.  Let me catch them being good instead of focusing on the bad.  I am TIRED of the most well recognized student being the student who misbehaves the most!!!  (I have a vested interest in this because my son often gets overshadowed in school because he happens to be very well behaved.)

So with all of these issues swirling in my head, I decided to act.  We maintain a school google account because we use several of google features on our webpage.  (It helps me get other people besides me involved in the webmastering process without actually having to have a big technological background.)  I am starting with the three LOVELY gentlemen that I have to test for WESTEST and we are going to build three teacher's webpages through google pages.  I will then link these three teacher pages to our main school site.  After initial setup, I am going to get homework sheets each week and allow these boys (behavior permitting) to design and develop the page for that week.  My goal is to maintain a page for EVERY teacher in the building, with one student assigned per teacher.  It will be the responsibility of the student to get the necessary info from the teacher (i.e. homework sheet) to type into their webpage.  The only work I will be responsible for doing is typing in the password to allow that child to get into their page (I am not THAT ignorant!!!)  and evaluating before posting.

Any thoughts on this idea?  Anyone run into pitfalls trying this out?  I will document my process as this goes on.

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