Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger communityISTE Coaching Standards (2014)
Communication with students and families is extremely important in a collaborative classroom. Over the years, I have used a variety of communication platforms to share information such as e-mail, Remind, texting, school website, Edmodo, Teams, and good old-fashioned notes home.
I was most proud of the LMS we set up in Edmodo for our students. It was a one stop shop for 6th graders to find their homework (posted by students daily), audio text resources, Math and ELA documents. Students could log on and ask each other questions. We did a lot of work with our students, teaching them how to communicate politely with their classmates. In my blog, Using EDMODO to its Fullest Potential, I explain how we used this system in my class.
This year, I was introduced to a new system, Microsoft Teams. I like this even more. It works beautifully with MS products and you can feel pretty comfortable that after some practice, students can arrive to the Team and find their assignments, access OneNote, navigate to websites, complete forms, and best of all join a call to talk with the teacher and peers. I’m really pleased that we had access to a LMS like this during the Covid-19 Closures. The difficult part was teaching the teachers how to use it, but now 3 1/2 months in, they are pros.
As a Coach, I love using Microsoft Teams to teach my district PD (when the internet plays nice). I have created a channel to house my training and have provided resources for teachers to come back and easily find them. The chat is also a great way for educators to ask a question and everyone that has been apart of the class can reach out and offer their knowledge. It has become a mini-community of educators that want to improve their craft and increase student learning with the tech tool, Flipgrid. The best thing about using Teams as our LMS, is that due to the closures, all of our educators are using it in some capacity with their students/buildings.