Hi Ms. Caryl,
I hope you made it home safely! Pensacola was my final destination-- so my last leg was short and sweet.
I have been brainstorming further about the teacher-student teaming project that you inspired. Dr. Strange's class is superb in that any student who wishes to study a tangent that is related to the material is free (encouraged) to do so-- however, that opportunity is lost on many of his students because his curriculum is missing the intrinsic motivation that comes by creating one to one relationships with elementary students. Right now, he asks his students to participate in a project called comments for kids, which is great because it exposes aspiring teachers to online classrooms around the world. Unfortunately, many of the comments left by his students are relatively bland and often directed at a whole class instead of an individual-- thereby undermining the value of the project.
I am going to propose to him that we target classrooms that have individual students work available and team one college student with one elementary student all semester long. By doing this, I hope we will achieve more accountability and genuine responses that are created by deep thought and inspection of the students work and maybe the class site as a whole. This idea does create a problem which I am looking for feedback if you have any.
The problem is that by teaming one teacher to one student all semester long, you limit the exposure of your college students to other tech-savvy classrooms. A couple possible solutions I have thought of are as follows:
a.) Strange could reduce the frequency of the commenting aspect of comments4kids so that his students can prioritize one student instead of many, but still require his students to look through a different class blog each week.
b.) The Doc could ask his students to leave links to other related class rooms in the comments for their teamed student to emphasize the relevancy and global connectedness of their work for appropriate elementary submissions-- which would prove their research of other classes.
As you can see, I am still in the framework stage of this project idea. ANY helpful tips, insight, or foreseeable collapses are greatly appreciated.
I do appreciate your open support and kindness and look forward to hearing from you again. I am equally excited to hear about any volunteer excitement or novel/ artwork developments you have occur. Please do keep me updated.
Eager to succeed,