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Russo's Ramblings

Flashback Friday: Making the Connection

In a year-long review of items I wrote in this blog 5 years ago, this installment of Flashback Friday looks back to October 2004 and the post, Making the Connection. What I wrote:

Kids today are connected. When they go home, they do not pick up the phone anymore. They get on the computer and IM each other. This way, they can have group conversations and keep up with more people and more events at once. If one friend IMs 4 of his buddies about going to the mall, each can ask mom or dad at the same time, and within 2-3 minutes, everyone knows who is going and what time they can go.

We have the same connected environment for our classrooms. By using the WITS Notes pages, students and parents can stay connected to what is going on in the classroom. When teachers post assignments and events to WITS, everyone who needs to see them does automatically.

There is no IM section in WITS, but if the need arises, that can be created as well…

The Internet has broken down the walls of the classroom forever.

So where are we today? How about…

Kids today are connected. When they go home, they do not pick up the phone IM anymore. They get on the computer and IM each other They have been talking and texting on their phones since the final bell rang at school. This way, they can have group conversations and keep up with more people and more events at once. be constantly connected to those they want and need to be with. If one friend IMs Tweets 4 of his buddies about going to the mall, each can ask mom or dad at the same time, and within 2-3 minutes, everyone knows who is going and what time they can go.

We have the same no such connected environment for our classrooms. By using the WITS Notes pages, students and parents can stay connected to what is going on in the classroom. When teachers post assignments and events to WITS, everyone who needs to see them does automatically. How the always connected world of the mobile phone will come to be a part of the learning environment remains to be seen. Some schools are starting to dabble in this, but there are lots of concerns and issues surrounding it.

There is no IM section Twitter feed in WITS, but if the need arises, that can be created as well…

The Internet mobile phone has broken down will disrupt the walls of the classroom forever in ways we have not yet imagined.

That rewrite was more fun than I anticipated. The interesting part is that during those 5 years, the technology changed, the students adapted instantly, and the classroom remained the same. I wonder what my post in October of 2014 will look like?

Categories
Russo's Ramblings

Flashback Friday: WITS for Kids

In the last year or two many districts have been opening a web portal for parents and students to access information about what is going on in school (grades, etc.). For this month’s flashback, I wrote back in September 2004 about how our internal website, WITS (Williamsville Information Tracking System) was being opened for student and parent access (see the post, WITS for Kids).

Its hard to believe we have had such access for five years now, and in that time, WITS has become increasingly integral to the daily routine of teaching and learning. The developers who write the program behind WITS, Chris and Dan, are incredible in how they meet the needs of a diverse community of users, be it teachers, staff, students or parents. Looking forward, many of the new tools available on the web may influence how our school community interacts with WITS.

Happy 5th birthday, WITS for Kids!

witslogo