“Now that I’ve set up my classroom collaboratively, I cannot imagine returning to a non-collaborative environment,” says online educator Smadar Goldstein. “And whether you’re teaching from thousands of miles away or sharing a physical space with your students, an online component can provide unique shared learning opportunities.”
Are students cheating when they read the work of fellow students in a collaborative environment and then incorporate the ideas into their own responses? Online teacher Smadar Goldstein prefers to define that as “learning.” But if you have concerns, she has suggestions.
I believed that being new meant I had to follow someone else’s advice for the first six weeks of school, or I would be doomed. Now I know that students mostly know how to do school, and we must respect their intelligence as we build community with them.
Reading support teacher Arwen Kuttner is finding that a combination of tried and true reading instructional strategies and some new technologies have achieved a productive balance among her primary-aged students who are now “eager to ask me for books that they can read independently.”
In his summative reflection about an afterschool enrichment program, principal Matt Renwick shares comments from his students and his fellow teaching partner Renee, who agrees that “many of the students did things in this computer club time that blew me away.”
Teachers, schools and districts have a duty to read and observe the Terms of Service associated with popular apps and websites, says school-based technology leader Jennifer Carey. Educators are responsible for assuring the privacy and safety of students, both legally and ethically.