Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My students were each responsible for creating an informational website using Google Sites.  The site would exist to teach another student about one of the elements of fiction that we discussed in class.  Students could work with a partner, and since they all already use Google Docs in their computer class, I didn't have to do much in the way of direct instruction on how to use the program.  In fact, one of the first thing I said to the kids is, "There is no way I'll be able to answer absolutely every one of your questions about Google Sites.  I don't know everything there is to know about it.  Before you come to me with a question, do your best to play around with the site and figure it out."  Not only were the kids okay with this, they embraced it, and several of them took on the role of "Google Expert" in class.  I LOVED seeing this, because more often than not, it was the shyer kids who ended up being the most adept at helping their peers.

Overall, I'm pleased with the work that my students turned in.  However, every time I do any type of project, I take notes on how it can be improved.  The first time we do anything, I've got a laundry list of improvements, and this time is no different.

The thing I was the most disappointed about was the failure of the asynchronous pairing.  I'm hoping this will work in the future, but it's one of those unfortunate facts of life that you never know what your class sections are going to look like until you get them.  This year, my class sections are 11 and 20, which made the asynchronous pairing pretty much impossible.  Hopefully in the future, my classes will be a little more even, and I'll be able to work that into the project.

 The link to my blog:   http://revyourteaching.blogspot.com/

1 comment:

  1. They Asynchronous grouping can be challenging. I have played with allowing them to pick their own groups, assigning them or making them a random group. All have had one issue or another... however they can be very valuable. When I have 1 member in each group spread between my 4 classes they can't just sit and do nothing. Communication through digital medium because highly important. The biggest issue I had was if one or two members wanted to sabotage the group they could. While building robots they could dismantle or break the previous idea. I fixed this by aligning groups of kids by ability and attitude. The ones who didn't care got matched so they only affected themselves. It is a work in progress as I hope all of us have come to understand. I would point out as you progress you will find it easier over time. My students now just assume they will use Google Docs and online tools for my class as well has the high school.

    * One of the huge advantages of going Virtual is you allow ALL students to participate. They lazy or quiet can't hide and the vocal students can't dominate the class. You will find it interesting as you build your blog/transparency it will help your teaching immensely.

    Good Luck! Keep it up