Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's a good thing.

Ah, Martha Stewart. Anyway, some good things I've been noticing:

With the online inclusion environment, students have much less hesitation about taking me up on my offer to help. They don't have to stand up in front of their peers and leave the room, as often happens in a regular school setting. Here, we can cover a topic for a couple hours in an Elluminate classroom and no one knows the difference (except that student, who actually understands the homework now). It really allows for a complete removal of labeling among the the students. Only the teachers know who needs the extra help. And if you want to reteach a topic to a small group of students, you can offer it to the whole class without worrying that students without IEPs will take all of the seats in the resource room.

There are a lot of phenomenal websites out there (I know, I haven't shared most of them yet. I want to thoroughly review them before I put them up though because they're really that good.) And maybe it's just the students I'm working with but they seem a whole lot more willing to read through a website and do their practice problems on the computer than they are to use a textbook. I get to pull up the website that explains things in a way that particular student will understand, which is a huge change from the "one workbook fits all" setting I'm used to.

Also, my coworkers and I were talking about the mental benefits of being able to have students use a different site when they need to relearn a concept. Instead of seeming like "you failed, do the exact same thing over again until you get it right," you feel like you're taking a different approach to things. I know good teachers find new ways to explain a concept when they reteach in a regular classroom, but this is right at your fingertips. I like it. And when you pair it with the interaction in the online classrooms in Elluminate, it becomes extremely effective.

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