Thursday, December 16, 2010

What the web does best...

I went to a workshop tonight about Web 2.0 tools. I picked up some great tips to leverage Facebook and smartphones, but the best part came from one of my students.

During the workshop she sent me a chat message in G-mail and asked for help with her paper. I opened it in Google Docs and then opened the chat window in the document so we could chat with her paper right there. She asked if she was on the right track. She missed class today, so I asked her to go look at the class blog to see the presentation from today's lesson that I had just posted there.

When she came back to Docs a few minutes later she used the chat window to explain exactly what she had learned about thesis statements from the blog. Her answer was perfect, but also totally in her own words. She confidently told me she would be fine now and thanked me for my help. All I did was make the lesson available and tell her where to find it.

You should know that this young lady is at risk. Her grades are poor, she often struggles to understand material, and the reason that she missed class today was because she was suspended for defiance when she ditched the VP as he was walking her to detention on Tuesday.

Tonight however, she was trying to do her work. She reached out to me and luckily I happened to be there.  She was able to use the blog to see what she missed in class and then use that to help her with her writing.

I went to a workshop to learn about more ways for using Web 2.0 tools, but it was my own student who showed me what the web really does best.

P.S. I actually wrote this post several months ago. I've waited to share it because it contains information about a specific student, but now I know she won't be recognized and I have her permission.