It is mind boggling! The array is stunning! It can be a lot to take in! Technology keeps growing and improving. It can be overwhelming to the new teacher much less the veteran.
The key to survival is an open mind. A mind open to the idea that there might be a tool out there that can do things better than I have always done it; open to the idea that improvements are great; that I can apply new technology tools both in and outside of the classroom with confidence.
This concept not only applies to the way we present information to our students, but how we interact as educational professionals.
One tool I use is Jing. At my school, interim reports are sent to the parents of students with ‘D’ or ‘F’ averages in classes. Communication from the teacher is key. Without clear unambiguous communication about what is going on with their student, parents have no option but to go crazy. . .mostly at the teacher. With Jing, I can go over the student’s individual grade report and record my observations as I show the parent where the student’s weaknesses are.
Jing videos are better than a phone call, and if the parent wants more information, they are still free to call me. This asynchronous tool gives personal attention to each student/parent allowing for the student to correct their learning strategy for the course and improve scores for the next interim report.
Check it out…Jing.com
I have a theory – you never know if it is going to work unless you try it. Technology can be beyond our learning capabilities sometimes but with a little effort we can learn and overcome any obstacles the creators have set forth. A helping hand can’t hurt either.
I will have to look into Jing to learn more but it sounds like a dream for communication.
Derek Witt said:
I agree that communication is key, in any environment, especially between the teacher, the students, and the parents. It is so important to make sure the parents understand where their child is and why. I will look into Jing, it sounds like a great tool. At our school, parents have a portal where they can go to see student progress and contact the teachers, but something like Jing may help them understand before they try to contact the teacher. Technlogy definitely helps us stay in constant contact with everyone involved, no matter the time of day.
As a parent and a teacher, I can agree with you about the importance of communication. During my beginning years of public school teaching, the most common forms of communication were notes, progress reports, and phone calls. I have to admit that even though calling was a pain, it was quite effective. You have me pretty curious over the idea of videos to communicate to parents. What exactly is on the video? It seems fairly time consuming to send information that way. Please elaborate if you have time. Tricia.