Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tech Integration Profile: Ms. Jones

Rockets Help Desk loves to identify when teachers use technology in their classes to benefit their students. This week we are focussing on Ms. Jones, a math teacher at Reading Memorial High School. She is also the Co-Advisor of the class of 2019 and the advisor of the Leo Club. 

Edline is the online tool that RMHS uses to give teachers their own website page for each of their classes. Ms. Jones utilizes Edline to upload class notes, homework assignments, study guides, and various assignments. Below is the transcript of our interview with her. 

RHD: Why did you decide to use Edline?
Ms. Jones: I decided to use Edline because it is a resource that the school district does pay for. Personally, I would prefer using Google Drive but I want to use a resource consistent with my peers and I recognize that this is may be more convenient for the students.

What do you upload to Edline?
I upload grades on a weekly basis, daily notes, weekly homework assignments, study guides, various projects, etc.

How much impact does it have on your teaching?
Edline has a significant impact on how I communicate with my students and their parents outside of the classroom. It allows me to provide resources for struggling students, to easily communicate with parents, and it allows students to have access to classroom material even if they are not in class.

Does using Edline make it easier for you, the teacher?
Edline makes many aspects of my role as a teacher easier. For example, I can assure that students who are absent have access to notes. Also, I can easily communicate with parents using the messaging feature and weekly grade reports. Parents are a vital role in what I do, and it allows more two-way communication between us. And, it works out well when my students lose assignments or forget to write down their homework because it is always available online. This does require more work on my end for certain things, but the results are well worth it!

How have students responded to your use of Edline?
Students LOVE that their grades are available online on a weekly basis and that notes are always available online. Some students did not like when I posted homework on Edline and not in the classroom. They would often forget to check their homework, even though that is their responsibility and it was posted a week in advance. I now post homework on Edline and in the classroom.

Do they like it better?
This would be a great question for one of my students! I am not sure what they have to compare it to. Personally I think Google Drive is more user friendly and more reliable, but it is important to be consistent across the district.

Do they use it?
I would like to think all of my students do, but I know that this is not the case. I think it is safe to say that almost all of my students do.

What happens if Edline doesn't work, if the site crashes? How does it impact you, your students, and your class?
This puts a big damper on my work. But, I generally try to plan ahead and make sure that everything that would need to be online for a week's worth of classes is done a week before. It may delay me from taking attendance or inputting grades, it has caused students to not get their work done, and it has made me assure myself that I always have a backup plan!

When I had Ms. Jones last year for Geometry, I found it super helpful that she uploaded class notes and homework to Edline. It helped me if I was out, and it always gave me easy access to what the homework was.

Here are some screen shots of Ms. Jones' Edline page: