I pondered for a long while to come up with a real educational need or opportunity. Many suggested I
simply make something up. However, if I am going to put hard work into something, I want myself and
my students to benefit from it. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, right?!
A real problem that exists in our school, is absenteeism. Students miss a lot of school for many reasons
and often fail to make up their work. Especially with extended absents, for illness or vacation, parents
often want to have work left in the office to pick up for their child. However, I often find that that work
never returns to me and the temporarily excused grade turns into a goose egg, which is a huge
detriment to a student’s final score in the class… especially a ten or twenty week course!
There was much talk near the end of our school year about the power of zero! In sum, it says that when
a student does nothing on a project or assignment, turns in absolutely nothing, to adjust their grade to a
60% instead of a zero because a zero is not fair and is sixty percent away from the nearest grade. It is
extremely difficult, even for a great student, to work back up to earning a satisfactory grade. The debate
really seemed to divide our staff. While I understand wanting to accommodate for students, and being
fair, too much inside me doesn’t think that it best prepares students for their future. My goal, as a Life
Skills educator, is to best prepare students for their future! At any rate, I think that for the case of
absenteeism, students need the teaching/learning opportunity, not just the work/assignment. Afterall,
assignments are guided practice to give us teachers a gauge at our students learning and our teaching to
prepare them for formative assessments. Zhao says that, “Teachers’ technology knowledge consists of
three elements: a0 knowledge of problems that can be solved by technology, b) knowledge of a
technology that can solve their problems, and c) knowledge of how technology can solve their problems.
Teachers who are sufficiently equipped with this knowledge should be able to decide when to use the
technology and when not to.”
I believe that this is a time when technology would be highly appropriate to solve the problem. For
CEP820: Teaching K-12 Students Online, I created a website for my 7th grade: Life and Living class. It is a
place I can send these absent students to review lessons they’ve missed. I think that this techquest is
also an opportunity for me to add to what I’ve already done so that it is truly useful to me as an
Zhao points out the increase of schools connected to the internet, and I’d be willing to guess the same
of homes connected to the internet. This is a plausible expectation to help students learn what they
missed and actually be able to complete work… not just do the work. I could add screencasts, and my
last unit on for students to complete at home.
I have access via the web, to some of my past students and surely they would agree to help me out, as if
they were absent students. My project addresses the four common places of education as follows: I am
teaching, ex-students are learning, the subject matter would be my 7th grade curriculum, and the
setting would be the web/internet.
Clearly, I am open to ideas other than adding to my current site, such as an interactive blog or
something I may not even be considering. At any rate, I’m all “ears”!