Our wiki was an easy and inexpensive way of storing and displaying our learning. We were currently using scrapbooks as portfolios but began developing our student pages as a replacement. The purpose of the portfolios was to share with parents what their children were learning.
The next challenge was to get parents on board and start using/viewing our cyberclassroom. I held a parent education evening and talked them through setting up a registered account on the wiki and regularly sent home newsletters directing them to the site. It was obvious that the students themselves would be the best advocates of the site but they needed a reason to use it at home. (In total I had 19 parents join the wiki but almost all parents viewed their children's portfolio on line at least a couple of times / term.)
In an attempt to get some interaction between school and home I started adding our classroom programmes onto the site. Our Math and Language programmes were available online detailing what we were doing in class and included homework tasks and digital objects. Learning criteria was available for parents to see exactly what we were learning and I provided them with resources like Asttle What Next to clarify our objectives. The advantage to creating an online classroom programme was:
- Stored online for future reference and updating.
- Shared - With students, parents, school administration and I am aware that a number of other teachers are using my templates within their classrooms.
- Interactive - Uses the resources of the internet within my planning.
- Time saving - Now that I have templates setup it is quick and easy to add new pages and resources.
In the next post I'll be explaining our first attempt at collaborative learning.