Many students have cell phones with data packages or at least have access to their parent's phone. I find it extremely helpful when working with students who may not be motivated. To get an early start working with students and keeping them motivated I use ClassPager to reach out to parents and create a support community to facilitate student academic achievement. I use this tool to reach to students and parents as a group as well as to communicate with them individually. With this tool, parents can be a text away.
These are some great questions. I have a few comments, and questions to add. I'd love to hear your responses. I will certainly be looking in to your other "Taming and Training" posts, as I am occasionally very frustrated with my students and parents lack of ... maybe willingess?... to move forward technologically, the requirement that all students and parents get all information, and my desire to make a paperless workplace and teaching environment.
LMS/CMS/GAFE: So consider me a non-newbie, but the only one of these I've heard of is a Google Apps school. Can you share a little bit about the other items? Are LMS and CMS school systems, or document management/cloud based resources like Google?
Handouts: I am at a difficult pace. When I need to give handouts - usually only beginning of the year handbooks and such - I have tried going strictly digital (we have a website that I direct students/parents to), but inevitably I am still making copies. So I have gone back to paper packets. It is posted online for future reference. Any hints as to how to get parents and students to embrace the digital domain for these types of things?
Paper handouts: I'll be looking at this post to get some ideas!
Going Digital: I hope there are several responses here. I want some ideas! As I said, I have our choir website, which I feel is very user-friendly and full of information. Important documents are placed online, rehearsal tracks (behind a password protect), calendar (google), etc... How do you deal with families that don't have home internet access?
Mobile Learning Devices: I don't know what Aurasma is. I struggle with good use of qr codes, other than directing students using mobile devices to quizzes or documents. Any other good uses?
I think efficiency is important. It doesn't help the argument for technology if the information we wish to give our students is more difficult for them to access because we don't want to deal with paper. I am always very conscious of the material posted on our website, and even how much information is posted on individual pages within our site. A cluttered website makes it very frustrating for the user to navigate.
We are all newbies in our own way. Technology changes so quickly that unless you are comfortable with uncertainty, it is hard to "keep up". I will try to answer your questions as best I can. If I don't, please let us continue the conversation!
"students and parents lack of ... maybe willingness?...
to move forward technologically"... Two stories come to mind. First, don't take away someone's crutch until you give them a better crutch. In terms of education, we can't expect people to change until and unless they see it is either easier, more effective, or satisfies their carbon footprint need. The second story is dealing with the constant change of websites. For the person that is uncomfortable, to overcome their fear they will take notes as to where and what color the button is they need to click. Great, it works for three class periods, and then the website gets updated and the students following the directions say they can't do it. Teacher panic sets in. Maybe relate the Internet with sports. You are given techniques (reading), now use tactics (scan entire page looking for similar items) to function.
"Are LMS and CMS school systems, or document management/cloud based resources like Google?"...
Teachers create online classrooms or pages of information in many different ways. Lessons can be given in jogtheweb, symbaloo, online Powerpoint sites, Blogs, wikis or through Google Documents. The broad terms LMS and CMS, encompasses complete online classrooms from posting work to discussions, chats, assignments, grades, Moodle.org is an open-source one, while Edmodo and Schoology are free, but you need to pay if you want to integrate it with the school's record keeping system. I am sure there are others.
"get parents and students to embrace the digital domain"...
I mentioned crutches earlier. "Everyone please take out your cell phone. We will do two activities... one for those that have Internet access and those that have text only. If you want to do both, great!" Then talk them through how to find your information online and how to add the icon to their home page. Introduce the texters to Remind101 or Twitter. You mentioned in this thread you use cel.ly and Google Voice. Both good choices, but you need to show them step by step how to get it. You have now shown them how easy it is to get information, because they are carrying it with them and the button is there!
"How do you deal with families that don't have home internet access?"...
Hopefully these families will have text on their phones. Create a jpeg (picture) of the schedule and text it to them.
"Aurasma ... and .... good use of qr codes"...
Here is an example of Aurasma. Similar to qrcodes. Here is one with music. Whether Aurasma, qrcodes (an audio version is called chirp.io), or hyperlinks from documents, anything that has a URL can be used. So what would make its use "good"? To give initial information? To give additional information? To give information at a specific location when no one is available for help? Thoughts?
Hope I was able to help. Please try some of these items and tell us how it goes!
Thanks for the reply.
I noticed in an in-service session yesterday that Google will integrate with Edmodo, which makes for a nice way for the teacher to not have to re-do quizzes and papers. I'm still not sure that I will use it much, as I maintain an website that gives much of the information Edmodo does. That professional presence is important to me, and I don't want to overwhelm my students or parents with too many places to find similar information. However, as most of our students have an Edmodo account (actually, they all have a Google and Edmodo account through the district whether they know it or not), that might be a good place to put up quizzes for immediate feedback.
I assure you that my parents and students have been given and have been shown step-by-step instructions for accessing Cel.ly, and Google Voice works just like a normal phone number. Still, perhaps a video posted online would give my visual learners another opportunity to understand how to connect.
A question about texting jpg to families - does Remind101 allow you to send MMS? Neither Google Voice or Cel.ly allow MMS messages, and my purpose for having these two resources is so that for the most part my students and families do not have my personal cell number. (As I sit here typing, I realize that both of my services will allow you to send a link through text message, so perhaps I just solved my own problem...!)
Finally got a chance to look at the links for Aurasma - I will be looking at that further, and finding ways to incorporate that technology in and around my classroom. I'll be sharing it with my colleagues and admin as well - fun stuff!
Jermaine, and everyone!
What methods of communication can we use to take advantage of the different learning styles? We have mentioned text, audio and visual. Does the two items mentioned in this post count as kinesthetic?