Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tracy's Tuesday Tech Tip: Beyond the Grocery Store

While shopping, it's not uncommon for me to meet up with some of our students' parents/families. Over the past month, I've met up with students spinning in Woodmans, riding in and underneath the shopping carts at Walmart, and just walking along.

Perhaps the most memorable meeting over the past couple years is when I turned the corner while at Pick n' Save, and heard "Ms. GAROOOOOOOOON!!!!!" Then was bear-hugged by a student who immediately went shy after that initial exchange. I didn't even have to turn look down to see who this student was, I just knew... :)

Beyond meeting up in the grocery store and having the impromptu mini-conference while checking out, how do we make learning visible for our parents' and families who want to know what's going on our classrooms?

The connection is the Blackboard Sites, the Portfolios, and those evidence pieces where we as educators can not only SEE our learners' thinking and learning, but where they get excited to SHARE IT with their parents and families! With Blackboard our students' can have those centralized places to share their learning or to work through a video project with their families at home. 

By connecting the portfolio to spotlight work and beyond, we work to bring that awesome cute factor of the graduation hats into something more, leveraging the conversations with our students to have with their families of a REAL-LIFE WEBSITE of their Work. 

If we go beyond the spotlighted work, we can work toward using the portfolio as great exemplars for furthered study, preparation for Smarter Balanced Assessments, building blocks for teachers of the future to see strengths and learning styles that seem to "gel" for the learner!

All of these Tech Tools can work together to enhance your communication with our students' families and work to redefine what and how we flip our learning, showcase exemplars, and build our parent/community!

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