Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Texting 4 Class?

Wordle: texting 4 class

Tool: MASS TEXTING- I started mass texting my students this year to communicate important class information such as reminders for tests, project deadlines, study tips and other announcements. To do this I....
  • sent out a parental permission form which gave both students and parents the option of signing up for the texts.
  • added each student and parent as a contact in my cell phone.
  • set up groups within my cell phone based on the class period that the student was in.
  • started sending out mass texts to the groups I had set up.
** I know this process/way may not work for everyone based on your phone type, phone carrier or comfortability using your personal phone. However, there are some other ways to implement this tool such as using Google Voice or Microsoft Outlook (Thanks to Kevin Bals and his blog post on Using Microsoft Outlook for Texting Reminders to Students.. for showing me this method!).

Results/Reflections: I know the first thing everyone is probably thinking is that I must have received some inappropriate texts from students. That is not the case! Actually, I have not received any. I am amazed at the positive student and parent feedback I have received so far. Students really like receiving the reminders via text, since they almost always have their phones with them or nearby. It is an effective way of communicating important info, especially outside of the school day. Additionally, parents have told me that the mass texts are great for keeping up with what is going on in class and helps them to check in with their son/daughter to ensure they are turning in assignments, meeting deadlines, etc. I definitely plan to continue the practice of mass texting students and their parents in the future.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Classroom Project Runway!

Wordle: Project Runway 

Tool:  My Virtual Model is a tool that I used to have my Spanish II students recreate their own version of the popular TV show Project Runway.  For this project my students each created a "look" by dressing a virutal model with an original outfit.  They then wrote a detailed description of it in Spanish, which could be typed right on the site and saved for me to grade.  For the actual fashion show (class presentations) students put up their virtual model, wearing their "look", on the LCD projector and described it to their classmates in the target language. 

Results/Reflections:  I was amazed at the interest level of the students during the presentations of their classmates.  They were really motivated and the end results showed it! They really liked the chance to be creative and I liked the fact that they practiced such a rich variety of their new vocab. in the target language and wrote really quality descriptions of their orginal outfit designs!  Another cool feature to this tool is that the clothing choices on the site can actually be purchased online!