Today's guest post comes from Amy Roediger, creator of the edu blog A Lever and a Place to Stand. We're thrilled that Amy was willing to share her Chalkup journey with us!
Tell me that you’ve been here: It’s 7:30 p.m. on a school night and you’re sitting at the table with your middle schooler. You know there is still at least an hour of homework to do, but he’s struggling to finish a project that is due tomorrow.
You’re not sure what the product is or what the requirements are. The questions you ask are adding to the frustration. First there is screaming. Eventually, the tears start. And your middle schooler is not doing very well either.
A lot of the daily frustration that happens at my dining room table during homework completion could be alleviated if more teachers created a online resource center for their brick-and-mortar classrooms.
I wanted to create an online portal for my class - a place where I could stockpile resources, supply links to assignments and pertinent information, and facilitate discussions.
Recently I taught a professional development workshop about vocabulary instruction for teachers. I wanted to create an online portal for my class - a place where I could stockpile resources, supply links to assignments and pertinent information, and facilitate discussions among the participants. After considering a couple of different services, I opted to use Chalkup.
The first assignment completed by the teachers in my class was to answer a poll question, “Have you used a learning management system as a student, as a teacher, or not at all?”
According to my poll, almost half of the teachers in the class had never used a tool like Chalkup and only one-third had used one as a teacher. (Hopefully, that will change as more teachers discover free and easy services like Chalkup.)
Here are some of the advantages of creating a digital classroom that can support the physical classroom:
Increased communication - Students can post questions and receive answers (from the teacher or other students). Parents, too, can view assignments or requirements so they can support learning at home.
Decreased need for multiple copies - Lost your assignment? Forgot it at school? Assignments can be downloaded and printed.
Increased ease of sharing links and resources - Need a place to share websites for a project? Have a video that you want students to watch for homework? Have a great tutorial website for remediation? Put all that and more into your digital classroom so it can be enjoyed again and again.
Decreased paper usage - If a handout is being supplied just to be read and discussed, consider adding it to your digital classroom so that it doesn’t end up in the trash.
Increased digital citizenship - Using a digital classroom to support school activities is a great way to teach students to interact in a responsible way online. Students can use message boards to communicate and “like” each other posts in a school or class-specific social network.
With so many free tools being developed every day, there has never been a better time to create a resource like this for your classroom. With Chalkup, you will get the advanatages listed above, as well as access to online rubrics and grading, some simple formative assessment tools, and flashcard creation.
Mothers at dining room tables everywhere will thank you!