Classroom Without Walls

As a lifelong learner celebrating 20 years in higher education classrooms, I decided to try some new technology for my preparatory composition class this year. So I attended an edmodo webinar and created a profile for each of my incoming students using profiles of various activists that I had seen in a Yes! Magazine article.

The idea was that students would research information about their activist identity having plucked it out of a hat on the first day of class. From there we would brainstorm interview questions for an oral history project based on what they had in common with their activist. A personal narrative, a book report, and the culminating activity, a “Come As They Were” party would become part of their portfolios.

As this is the seventh day of the semester and a holiday, I thought I would report the wonderful news. So far, I count it a personal best to have a 100% submission rate on the first assignment, 60% submission rate on the second assignment, freewriting analysis – a standing assignment and often the most complicated for previous classes – and it’s not due until 5 PM today, and two assignments already in that are due Tuesday at 5 pm.

Nice work if you can get it. So I sent the following in a post on edmodo:

I wanted to congratulate all those scholars who have submitted their first freewriting analysis. I see wonderful evidence of analytical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and commitment to excellence in your work. I can’t imagine a better birthday present. Thank you.

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