The Art of Teaching Self-Reliance Through Technology
Technology is a double edged sword. On one side, it can be a never-ending hole of distraction and mindless activity. On the other, it can be a catalyst for deeper learning, and in this case, transforming students into responsible adults.
It all to comes down to how technology is used.
Angela Yeasayer, an Eastern High School Instructor in Louisville, KY, knows this all too well. She has witnessed how using the Schoology effectively can teach students to become independent young adults.
"The students are engaged, at all levels, in a digital learning landscape by harnessing the power of the gradable discussion forums,” explains Angela. “I have fully involved my students in the use of the calendar and how to navigate and become adaptable in their digital skills while holding them accountable for submitting their work."
Gaining More Time for Each Student
Angela’s insistence on student autonomy has fostered a new level of confidence and self-reliance in her students. It also frees up more time for her to attend to the demands of 25 students at a time.
Armed with Schoology’s mobile app, Angela is able to quickly grade her students’ work and provide instant feedback while in the classroom. "Many times, they are surprised as I walk around the room with my iPhone and grade their video projects or assess their progress,” she explains. “It’s not only modeling a responsible use of technology, but also providing a world of daily involvement in what matters to me as an educator in media arts."
Angela continually teaches by example, using the platform’s social tools to share relevant links, stories, and current events, which helps model a reasonable and responsible use of social media.
Practicing Life Lessons in a Controlled Environment
To take this theme even further, Angela has created the “Thought of the Day” discussion thread. Here, she posts a daily topic for her students in a gradable discussion to contemplate, caption, reply to, or otherwise provide feedback.
Angela points out that this is a great forum for her students to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in a digital environment. In open discussions, like these, she says students get to witness the behaviors and interactions of their peers.
But what’s the greatest benefit of this methodology? "It becomes a self-regulating and transparent environment,” says Angela. “It works for me to illustrate the very vague notion of internet-anonymity. It also fosters meaningful interactions—after all, who doesn’t want to be heard?"
Clearly, Angela's use of Schoology goes beyond enhancing her curriculum. It has also proved to be a model for instilling autonomy and accountability among her quickly-maturing young adult learners.
“I believe that my holistic integration of Schoology into the daily workings of my class and utilizing its more unique features allows me to be a tech leader in my school community and an advocate for all teachers to incorporate its use to revolutionize learning and accessibility to education.“
Eastern High School, Louisville, KY
Educator of the Year Finalist
Written by Cyndi Amaya
The Art of Schoology: Tell Us Your Story
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