Dropbox/Google Drive question?
My school’s management system electronic turn-in option apparently has a lot of glitches, so my department head suggested a Dropbox account because then I can see when the students turned it in, close it after the deadline, etc. I was thinking about using it or using Google Drive.
My concern is that students will be able to edit one another’s files in the Dropbox or Google folders. I can just see one vengeful 9th grader deleting another’s assignment…or a clever 10th grader claiming that was what happened.
Is there a way to prevent this in either Dropbox or Google Drive? Or is there a better alternative?
Edited to add: I used Edmodo this year for middle school. It worked great for turning things in, but I don’t want all the posting functions, because then I have to monitor them.
Positive Change is Afoot
Ok friends, so some exciting things have been coming into play almost overnight. A couple weeks ago this happened and I found out last week that my school passed the first stage approval and we will be defending our grant proposal, most likely later this week. I also got another email from the district director of blended and he wants to visit my classroom before the end of the year, regardless of what happens with the grant, because he says we have a unique opportunity to define what our district’s blended learning looks like and he wants my classroom to be part of that, saying that I’ve opened up an opportunity for even greater change.
So what does this all mean? Well for starters, you’re going to start seeing a lot more about blended learning on here. If we get our grant approved as-is it means my classroom would pilot a blended model with 1:1 technology.
This would be really unique for a lot of reasons:
- We are an arts-integrated school and K-5 curriculum is written around thematic units so the technology would be used for a lot of self-driven, project-based units that also are arts-intensive.
- We are a Title I school with about 80% FRL, 80% minority, 40% ELL, 13% SpEd. We are currently accredited on watch.
- Due to our demographics most students in my class don’t have access to a computer with internet at home. My kids have become more proficient on the iPads this year but their keyboarding skills and general technology navigation is limited because they use a non-tablet device once every couple of months, if that.
- My classroom is 800 sq ft, originally built as a traditional MS room way back when. I constantly test my magical powers to fit 30 4th graders, tables/chairs, a meeting area, a library, technology AND keep the hands-on, experiential, arts-integrated learning going.
If the grant is approved as-is it also means I get to go to some amazing conferences this summer for edtech and blended learning, as well as participate in a lot of PD next school year to enhance my own knowledge as well as share with colleagues and other educators.
Whether the grant gets approved or not I am really excited to delve into some new things and find better ways to differentiate for my kiddos. I think that blended learning can just be like anything else in education: another buzzword or fad if not done properly, but it doesn’t have to be. There is no 1, right way, to accomplish the goals of blended or any other educational idea. I think where I stand is pulling from a variety of ideas and finding the overarching principles that work together to achieve the outcomes I want for my kids. My feeling is that blended learning doesn’t have to be technology intense. Sure, it is nice to have and important for our kids to be savvy, but not all of us have tech in our schools. Why not use a blended model with the arts, or to tackle thematic units? If we get kids engaged and taking initiative for their own learning, isn’t that really the ultimate goal?
“Picked up my own iPad 2 about three weeks ago and, as an experiment, I have set my laptop aside and have used nothing but the Apple in the classroom ever since. And I have found that there is nothing that I do in my normal activities as a teacher that I have done with a laptop or a tablet PC that I can not do with the iPad 2.”—
One teacher’s experience replacing her laptop with an iPad 2.
I’ve been using mine for about a week and a half so far, and while part of it is a consequence of my schedule, it’s already cut my day-to-day usage of my personal laptop down to nil (except when I present). My poor iPod Touch is also feeling the effects.