This year I flipped day 1 for my classes: I made videos of my course guide and my technology sign ups so that we didn’t have to take class time to go over them; the links were posted on the class’ ItsLearning pages. But the parents don’t have access to ItsLearning. I wasn’t going to just hit play at Parents’ Night and show the videos, so I made a website for Parents’ Night where I posted the videos.

The address of the website is http://mrdwaylandhigh.weebly.com. For the three English courses, the GoogleCalendar appears at the top of the page, below which are the two videos. Below them is the paper version of the Course Guide and the course Twitter feed. For the Latin course, for which I don’t use the calendar as often, the Twitter feed and the one video are at the top (no Course Guide video; it’s not quite as elaborate as the English one). Below those is the GoogleCalendar.

The idea was of course to have my materials for parents’ night available in one place. The bigger picture is that parents have a resource throughout the year for some of the basic information about the course, namely assignments and announcements. I’d like it to become one of those dynamic websites where I include updates about the course, what great discussions we have in class, and the topics we cover, but I imagine that will be one of those things that never quite gets done.

And it did seem to serve its purpose well last night. I had my course materials available (and will next year as well) and parents seemed to appreciate the access / information. I do feel a bit conflicted with such an approach, just because the majority of my students are juniors and seniors and I do want to ween them off of their parents (or their parents off of them). On the other hand, the transparency movement is certainly here to stay and it is one that I understand and have embraced; this is a reflection of that movement.

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