Saturday, December 03, 2005

Open House Ideas for Our School? My 2 Cents

While reading my blogline rss feeds this morning, I ran across a neat idea at Education World's site.

What will you do at parent open house night to demonstrate that your classroom is one in which technology will be used appropriately and effectively? The Ed World Tech Team has some suggestions.

"is to have students create multimedia presentations depicting the experiences they had over the summer. Some students might use slide show technology to create their presentations; others might choose video/DVD. It depends on what's available. Having students create that kind of presentation early in the school year also can be a great introductory exercise to help them get to know a bit more about one another."

This sounds really interesting. However, in our alternative school, our students transfer in at different times. I am not sure this is an idea we could accomplish, but I still like it.

"Another idea is to have students create electronic portfolios of their activities over the summer or even during the school year,"

I have tried this, but it is a challenge for me to keep up with folders and files when students forget to save their work to the server and never remember which computer they created content on. I think the only way to do this would be if students had their own thumb or flash drive which they would be assigned to keep all their eportfolio activities on. Every week, they could back the info up on the server for safe keeping. They can not keep up with a pencil much less a $50-80 thumb drive. Sorry, printed copies are alot harder for teenages to drop in the toilet or someone steal them from them (just to list a couple fo the excuses I have heard). This is a work in progress with many challenges.

"PowerPoint presentations composed of pictures of each student and a quick sentence work well, too," Wonnacott noted. "I take a picture of each child at his/her desk, load them into PowerPoint and have students, one at a time, write a sentence of welcome to mom and dad. I want to expand on that idea this year with my eighth grade students. Because this is their last year here, I plan to use my Mavica to take a small video clip of each of my 8th graders and then ask each of them to relate a grade school memory."

Of the ideas that are in this article, this might really be the best. We have tried the student faces pics, but I like the idea about the students writing a sentence of welcome to the "parent figures." We also have taken short video clips, but not of everyone. We have students that do not allow their faces photographed. But, if they knew it was for parent night, that might work! I like it.. I like it

"I also have third graders make their own slide shows of math facts, with and without the answer," said Wonnacott. "I loop these together and show them on one computer, as well. My fifth graders currently are making PowerPoint presentations about our 50 states, researching and displaying facts as a technological poster, which I hope to be able to display at Open House night too."

This will work too. Our math teacher is tech savvy. He actually have created vodcasts of his students. I need to work with him on these, just do not know when. Not sure if I understand the idea of their states poster...I need more infor on this one.

"At open house," Greene noted, "the teacher can display as many projects as possible -- one to a computer. Parents can navigate through them to see what their kids can do. Hypermedia projects also can be posted online. Those parents who cannot attend the open house can still navigate through the class' projects through their Web browser."

Links to projects on our school website would be great. Nice touch and also involves the community

"For the teacher who has advanced computer skills," Lucy Gray told Education World, "I'd recommend doing a podcast of material you plan to cover with parents at Open House. Publish the podcast after the actual event so parents can download the audio file and listen to it on their computer or on their iPod. That really could be helpful to parents who miss open house, as well as to parents who want to review information. Mabry Online has some great examples of podcasts that benefit both parents and teachers. Teachers also might record students reflections on an assignment or on a particular aspect of school and make a podcast of their reflections too."

Oh man, I like this idea. I have been podcasting from my classroom for about 10 weeks or more. Creating an Open House podcast is a good idea. One tip I have picked up on it having a CD of our podcasts for students to check out and take home to shair with their family. We have a family holiday dinner coming up Dec 15th. This article gave me an idea to creat electronic portfolios for each family as a gift. If I can find time to do them!!!

"For less technically inclined teachers," Gray suggested digital photos in a slideshow format. "These always are a good way of giving parents an idea of what is going on in your classroom. Slide shows can be created in iPhoto or PowerPoint. They can be jazzed up by having students narrate the shows or by including music created by the students."

I try to take pictures of other teachers working in their classrooms. I just need to put the pictures on their H drives and show them how to access them for this great technology activity. I like this one!!!

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