Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Exploring new classroom management ideas

I finally got around to downloading TweetDeck on my new computer and set it all up with my columns the way I like it. It's a newer version than the one that I have on my school laptop and I'm not used to the size of it yet. On my school laptop I can see, I think, five columns at a time and it's easier to slide from one to the next but I think I'll get used to the new format eventually.

While I was sorting through some of the tweets, I saw one by @haleon in #elemchat and #edchat, two of the most popular education hashtags, about something called ClassDojo, a program that uses game theory to help with classroom management. I decided to check out the website and shot off a few tweets to @ClassDojo as well about the program. It appeals to the gamer in me. I like the idea of the kids working towards goals and getting badges and going up levels, but I'm not convinced about it.

One of my main reasons for hesitating is that I'm the only one in the classroom with a laptop. I have my laptop and my SMART board and that's it.  The students don't have laptops or netbooks or iPads or anything. So I asked @ClassDojo how well this program would work in a "low tech" classroom like mine. She/He responded that I could easily project the results onto the board for the class to see or I could show the kids their results as they leave. And I could, it's true, but then it becomes "he got this and I got that and I did this but you didn't see and she did that and you didn't mark it down." I was hoping that they system would be a little more about self monitoring rather than having me do all the monitoring and them seeing and comparing their results with everyone else's.

Has anyone used a system like this before? Any ideas about how this could work effectively in a classroom like mine?

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