Day 2: Connected Boot Camp

26 08 2009

boot campDay 2 was intended to address everything which went wrong in Day 1. That sounds ambitious, but in Day 1 I identified several areas we had to address before we could move ahead. In order to do this, I created a full-day session called “Connected Boot Camp” (you can read the details in the tools section on this site). The purpose of this experience was to insure that every student in the room could, at a minimum, use the basic class tools to take quizzes, register attendance, and respond to in-class polls.

In this session I also had to address a problem…

Since the syllabus quiz was taken outside class, the results were not what I had planned. My vision was a relaxed, in-class discussion about policies, in which students collaborated, I helped, and everyone got 100’s. Instead, what I got was students guessing at the answers without looking at the syllabus, early students sharing answers with later students, and a group of new college students who are less than 48 hours into the experience and are already feeling like they got a raw deal.

This whole mess came about because I made a bone-headed mistake and didn’t mark the quiz “available” to users. Ironically, it created a great chance to talk with these new students about what to do when you believe a teacher has not dealt fairly with you. We talked about how teachers make mistakes, how to address those, and other things. Then I told them that they would all receive full credit for the quiz, which seemed to restore their faith in humanity.

One of our network admins sat in and monitored traffic across the two access points in our classroom; he gave us a clean bill of health. By the end of Day 2 I was feeling a little more confident about the tools I was using (and my students’ ability to use them).

Little did I know that disaster lay just around the bend.

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