Thursday, February 5, 2009

The day the sub came and I still had to work!

Today I had a very unique experience as a teacher. I am currently not at school ... in fact I am not even in Macklin. I am at my relatives for the rest of the week. Let me take you back.

A few days ago I received a call from my wife saying that we will need to go to her parents for a funeral. I would be missing school Thursday and Friday. This posed a problem to me as I am new into this term and my IP10 students are beginning projects on digital citizenship, a topic they know very little about. The premise of the project is to do a little research, enough to ask proper questions and create blog entries that begin those converstations. Here is the list of problems:
1. They have never done digital storytelling.
2. They have only discussed digital citizenship for two classes.
3. They have only had the project explained to them once. (They are teenagers
4. My substitute teacher is not familar with any of the material I teach.
5. I usually field numerous questions on technology problem solving.
ie. "My password doesn't work." (forgot it or typed it in wrong)
"The computer lost my file." (forgot where they saved it)
"My keyboard is broken." (Not plugged in)

My answer to this was to communicate with my class while at my relatives. I was lucky enough to have nothing going on this morning and relatives nice enough to free me up so I focus on the computer. I prepared my class by leaving instructions for my sub to have them log into Edmodo. (We use Edmodo alot so they ARE familiar with it.)

I spent 45 minutes answer questions, guiding students to answers, basically doing what I would do if I were there. I even did some discipling. I have included a video that recaps this mornings lesson.

This is obviously not possible for most times we have a sub in. In fact, I am not sure I will ever have this opportunity again. What this morning did do was reaffirm my belief that knowledge of different technologies and the use of them in appropriate places can be very beneficial, even powerful.

My students did not fall behind, I was able to relax about my class staying on track and I proved to my students one of the many abilities of online communication and collaboration.

Maybe I didn't quite save the world today. Maybe my class just thought their geeky teacher was "Geekin' it up". Regardless, I was able to teach normally even though I was not there with absolute ease with the help of Edmodo.

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