Monday, December 15, 2008

Two items of note:

First item:
Our wiki is featured this month in PBWiki's newsletter -- yay! The kids knew this was coming and several of them spent some extra time cleaning up their journal posts over the past week or so. Funny how things like capitalization and spelling become important when you discover REAL people will be reading what you wrote. The newsletter came out on Thursday and we've had several hundred hits over the weekend. I'm so proud of them!

Second item:
I threw my back out on Friday morning while shoveling snow. I took a sick day so I could go to the chiropractor and get myself straightened out. But since my class meets early in the morning (7:20 am to 8:00 am), I told the sub to make sure 5 kids got inworld and I'd meet them there. I sent out a group notice with a landmark to where I was and sure enough -- by 7:25 I had all five students in front of me! We held class as usual, with them doing tasks and me making payments for those tasks, only I kept track on a piece of scrap paper instead of in my database, since I couldn't get to that from home. I even disciplined a student who wasn't in world by shouting at him. The inworld students were all relayed my message!

Of course, teaching remotely does bring up some interesting issues the union will need to deal with in the future. If a teacher isn't in school, but is actually teaching the students from somewhere else -- should that count as sick time (or conference time/bereavement time)? She's still teaching and still interacting with the kids; the only difference is that she's not in the room with them.

Our IT manager likes to remind us, "Any job done by a person will someday be able to be done by a computer." I can forsee a time when kids and teachers go to school only one or two days a week to build social skills, spending the rest of their week in remote learning situations. Kids who don't have computers at school will still need to come to the buildings so they can use the computers. Of course, that begs another issue: will any social stigma be attached to those who come to the building vs those who choose to stay home to meet up with the class?

Many questions for us to consider...

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