After my group created a set of Netiquette Rules for the classroom, we were given the task to use those rules to create an asynchronous presentation to share those expectations with our class. My initial thought was to use VoiceThread, but I have used that several times throughout my time in the MET program and this class is giving me time to find and try other options. I have never used EDpuzzle before, though it has been on my “Must Try” list for months. I decided now was the time.
I used Screencastify to create a narrated video of my team’s netiquette slide presentation, which I changed substantially to make it a better fit for my student population. I then uploaded the video to YouTube and inserted it into EDpuzzle. I used EDpuzzle to create a scavenger hunt based on the video, with questions inserted throughout the video. Students must answer the questions before they can move on within the video. My school uses Google Classroom, and EDpuzzle integrates easily with Classroom with just a click. Overall, this was an easy way to create a video that allows me to track whether or not a student watched it. I can see this tool being invaluable for flipped classrooms and plan to try using it for that. I included screenshots of everything, including the assignment in Google Classroom since that site is domain specific.
This week is the start of our collaborative assignment on Netiquette. We put ourselves into groups, considered the questions below, and created a set of Netiquette Rules for our classrooms.
- Are emoticons and acronyms appropriate for students to use with their teacher in an academic setting?
- Will you allow invented spellings, or will you expect students to always use correct grammar and punctuation whenever they are communicating in an academic environment?
- Should the expectations be different for discussion boards, email or chat? In what ways can they differ and to what extent?
I found both the questions and my group’s answers thought-provoking. There are a lot of math teachers in this class, something I appreciate. There are not a lot of special education teachers though, and since I fill both roles, my thoughts often take a different path than my peers.
The majority of my group felt that emoticons and acronyms were inappropriate to use in an academic setting, as were invented spellings. As a special education teacher, my feelings run more towards getting them to communicate in any form, emoticons, acronyms, invented spellings and all. We did all agree that the setting will impact and dictate the expectations. My thoughts on the the three questions are included below:
My thoughts on these questions are a little different. I teach self-contained students math. Many of them are math-phobic by the time they get to me, and their mindsets are definitely negatively fixed. Anything that I can do to make communication easier and more on their level I will do. In my eyes, it is enough to expect them to do algebra. If they are willing to communicate with me, I don’t care how they do so as long as it is in a respectful manner. I use emoticons as a formative assessment. It lets me quickly check where they feel they are in relation to what we are learning, in a very visual form. They also find it fun and are willing to share their feelings this way. Many of them will take a minute or so to find the emoticon that best describes what they are feeling. This has led to some great conversations about what is causing the feelings and how can we improve the emoticon. It almost seems to help them discuss their feelings via an emoticon as if it were another person. That distance has allowed for deeper conversations with some students. We also use acronyms, but I agree that IDK is a cop out, and I tell them so and why I think that. This has also led to some interesting conversations! Using some of the acronyms that they use makes a hard subject a little more relatable and fun and has allowed me to establish a connection with them that they get. If showing up in a clown costume with a big red nose will motivate them, I will order the outfit now. My students have to pass Math A1 and A2 (algebra 1 taught over two years) and the state test at the end of A2 to earn a diploma. I think that I would probably have a much different take on this if I taught English, but for math and my population, I am fine with both.
While I would like to insist on correct grammar and punctuation, the nature of my population makes this difficult. At the start of the year, I take what I get. My students are notoriously poor spellers, and their grammar is terrible. Many spell phonetically which can be a challenge to read if you are new to sped! My department has gotten very good at this. Now that we are 1:1 with Chromebooks, the expectation that they use spell and grammar check has increased. Before this most didn’t have access to a computer and many still don’t have Internet outside of school. I haven’t made a big deal out of it as long as I can understand what they are trying to say, but again I teach algebra. This year I have a classroom blog set up that we have yet to start using. I am planning to have them type whatever they plan to say in Word and use the spell/grammar check since it is a public forum. I am definitely taking baby steps with this as I don’t want to shut down their willingness to communicate. It is a double-edged sword for me. I have several students who will not talk in class at all. But they do email me or will type an answer when I use something like Socrative’s short-answer questions. In this instance, I could care less what the spelling and grammar look like, just that they are reaching out to me in some form.
Expectations for discussion, email, and chat will differ according to the audience and the setting. I believe that this is something that should be very clear, even with my population. Much of this ties into respect, something that many of my students have difficulty with. My students are almost all living in poverty, and that definitely has an impact on how they communicate. I work a lot with respect, what it means and why it’s important. We also talk about how it is earned. Many of my students feel that they need to be respected but don’t feel that they need to be particularly respectful. Such an interesting (and faulty) take.
As a group, we created a Google Slide presentation of Netiquette Rules for our classrooms. I had a hard time with this assignment. I don’t like wordy slides, a preference that works well for my population as they are generally poor readers. I tend to use lots of images and bright colors, and very few words. I did add some images and pops of color throughout, but the final product is not something that I can use in my classroom without excessive doctoring.