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Week 2C (Oct. 4-Oct. 10)- Trying it in the classroom

 Use  your teaching environment to try out one of the ideas posted in this google document. Try to take some form of measurement as to whether the method to increase engagement was effective. 

Use the comment feature here to share with the rest of us what you tried, how it went, whether you would try it differently the next time, and whether it made a difference to student engagement.

Use the reply feature to explore the experiences and ideas shared by your online classmates.  Reply with questions that arise, comments that seem pertinent, and other discussions.

Task Discussion

  • Grant   Oct. 20, 2011, 5:04 p.m.

    I just got done trying something a little different in our online classrooms.  We usually haven't allowed are students the option to chat privately with each other just because they may not be paying attention to our lesson if given the opportunity to chat with one another.   I then decided to be brave and allow this.

    I taught a lesson on solving system of equations by graphing and had students chat privately about three questions I posed to them before I actually began teaching the lesson.  I wanted them to work cooperatively to come up with some ideas together and possibly teach each other something new.

    I thought it worked very well.  Most of the students were surprised at my suggestion but I think they enjoyed the opportunity to communicate with somebody else even though they were not in the same room they were discussing the same thing.  

    This may seem very miniscule compared to a regular classroom because this was something I encouraged everyday in my regular classroom, but it is still an unknown territory for our online classrooms.  I am excited about trying some other things now that I can have my students chat with each other privately!  I also think it made the lesson more engaging!

  • Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 20, 2011, 10:54 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Grant   Oct. 20, 2011, 5:04 p.m.

    Hi Grant,

    That is a very exciting result.  I look forward to hearing more as you try it again.  It seems to align with what Pink says about autonomy being important to motivation, too, I think.  I wonder what other sorts of classroom engagement strategies could be reinvented in an online environment.  Can they do whiteboard responses online?


  • Grant   Oct. 21, 2011, 9:12 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 20, 2011, 10:54 p.m.

    Yeah they are able to take control of the "controls" and they are able to use the whiteboard to solve problems and such.  I have been doing this and the kids enjoy it.  The only problem is that I can really only allows one student at a time to use the whiteboard.  It would be nice if I could allow each of them their own whiteboard so they could work out problems along with me.

  • karen   Oct. 21, 2011, 10:15 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Grant   Oct. 20, 2011, 5:04 p.m.

    Grant, that's cool! We're often concerned about the distraction of various technologies like chat, cell phones, etc. but f2f and online, but if students are directed to do something education-related with those technologies, I find that they often surprise us and do that.

    On the whiteboard discussion, there are some web 2.0 tools that allow multi-use whiteboarding. Can you bring outside tools into your outside classroom or do you have to stay in your school's environment?

  • Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 25, 2011, 11:03 p.m.
    In Reply To:   karen   Oct. 21, 2011, 10:15 a.m.

    Hi Karen,

    I would love to see some of those tools in action. Can you provide some links or names to help me find them?




  • karen   Oct. 26, 2011, 3:16 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 25, 2011, 11:03 p.m.

    Here are a few collaborative whiteboard tools:


    Scribblar - has some nice chat features, audio and text; also some integration with Wolfram

    Dabbleboard - lets you import docs


    Any others folks here have used and like?

  • Tracy Q   Oct. 10, 2011, 9:39 p.m.

    We are attempting to engage in reading announcements and other weekly information in an email blast that occurs each week.

    In order to gain engagement we are attempting to add contests and small prizes to the readings.

    We are also adding color and videos

    So far more students are responding to the contests than we thought were engaging last year but the baseline data is hard to confirm.

  • Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 20, 2011, 10:56 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tracy Q   Oct. 10, 2011, 9:39 p.m.

    Hi Tracy Q,

    Interesting things to try in an online format.  Why is it difficult to confirm the baseline data? (Just wondering).



  • Tracy Q   Oct. 21, 2011, 9:10 a.m.
    In Reply To:   Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 20, 2011, 10:56 p.m.

    I was just stating that we did not collect data from last year on if they engaged in the reading and knew the material so we only have anecdotal data that more students are engaged this year.

  • Bonita DeAmicis, Ed. D.   Oct. 25, 2011, 11:04 p.m.
    In Reply To:   Tracy Q   Oct. 10, 2011, 9:39 p.m.

    Yes.  I see what you mean.  Are you collecting data now so that you will have baseline data for the next time? Given what I am reading in DRIVE, I am wondering what you will find over time.