Taking it Online

Today I introduced my 7th graders to MyBigCampus (MBC).  I told them that the BEST part of MBC was the potential to have awesome online conversations and dialogue with peers.  The WORST part of MBC is what I affectionately call “Three Strikes and You’re Out”.  For those of you who are not aware of the login requirements for MBC, what that means is that students have only three attempts to log in before MBC locks the account for 24 hours.  Now, this is not a big deal for most adults.  But I work with 7th graders…from all walks of life…with varying levels of academic prowess and attention spans.  So, what does that mean?  I means that I’ll inevitably have to deal with students who lock themselves out of MBC right before a due date.  =/

BUT…

Today all of the students were able to log in.  Now, I don’t know how my attempts they made.  But I do know that a couple of students were compassionately helped by their peers.  In fact, I looked up at one point and saw three students standing around one tablemate watching him, helping him, correcting him…so that he didn’t lock himself out. Whew!

You don’t know how stressful this can be until you’re worked with a program with this kind of safety feature.  My students didn’t know how easy they had it with Edmodo and GoogleDrive.  But they know now.  =)

Today my students began their first online discussion.  We’re preparing for our next unit: Medieval China.  Students looked at the four main teachings of Confucius and had to choose which one his teachings would have the biggest impact on building a strong society.  You’d think with the amount of talking 7th graders do that having them compose a minimum four sentence initial post would be easy.  Nope.  Think again.  Now some students can easily post four paragraphs…but for others.  It’s like pulling teeth.

The initial posts are slowly coming in.  The due date is tomorrow by 9PM.  Truth be told, I like giving them the extended due times with Internet-based assignments…and I think the students like it as well.  😉

Peer responses are next.  But that’s not until Wednesday.  And A LOT can happen between now and Wednesday.

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