“There is no persuasiveness more effectual than the transparency of a single heart, of a sincere life.”by Joseph Barber Lightfoot
Short-term- Brainstorm ways to invite a teacher, parent, or administrator to see the learning taking place in your classroom. You can do this by publishing your students’ work online on a wiki, blog, or school website. You can Ustream a lesson. You can create a video with the kids and have a movie night where you invite the staff and parents to watch the class videos while eating snacks!
Long-term- In what ways can you be more transparent? How can you make your instruction transparent to others at least once a week? Do you currently publish students’ work online or have your lesson plans available for the parents to see what is happening in the classroom?
Today, my 7th graders had big presentations that they have been preparing for over a period of weeks. They were presenting in front of their competitors (it was a challenge to win) and a "Board of Investors" who would determine the winners. The Board was comprised of volunteer staff members from throughout the school. We had, for one session, a 2nd grade teacher, the librarian, a 5th grade teacher, and a 3rd grade teacher sitting on the Board (an administrator stopped by to watch, but not participate). The 8th graders get their turn tomorrow!
It's great to have staff members see the students in an environment they don't usually get to view. Students knew that this presentation was "official" with this authentic audience and took it very seriously. A win-win situation.
I have published some work from my 6th graders - they had a lot of fun with Jenuine Tech's holiday card project! We participate in projects such as the 6 word memoir. Students create their own websites (6th graders use Weebly and 7th/8th graders use Google Sites) to keep reflections, projects, and their own creative interests.
It is so important that students get the chance to share and view learning. I do not have an environment in which we can post student pictures online at will, so videos and the like are not an option right now. We could do, however, some audio (and every student has an avatar or two ready to go!). My 6th graders are enjoying adding Vocaroo audio to their websites for a project on Egypt.
One of my goals is to do some projects with Skype, such as the Around the World with 80 Schools project. That is one way to invite fellow students in!
And... as much as possible... my door to the Media Lab is OPEN! This invites anyone passing by to take a peek and see what we are up to!