This is how my day went, on Digital Learning Day: February 5, 2014. It’s not much different than my other teaching days, really…forgive the length, but days are long!
12:37AM: I finish laundry and chat with child #1, who just got home.
12:38AM-6:27AM: I attempt to sleep.
6:28AM: I wake up when child #2 slams the door on the way to the bus stop, as always.
6:45AM-8:13AM: I get ready for work. I check my Twitter feed for interesting ideas to retweet and my Moodle LMS (Learning Management System) for student messages. I make sure my 9 scheduled Tweetdeck messages are actually what I want the world to see. I supervise child #3 getting ready for school, including math homework and breakfast. We wait for the bus.
9:11AM: I finally walk through my office door.
9:12AM-9:52AM: I print a handout for 11AM class (8GB jump drive, $6 on sale). I prepare handouts for a 10AM meeting. I talk with two colleagues about curriculum and course scheduling for the rest of the year. Back in my office, I double-check my Prezi and online poll for my 11AM class. I spend a few minutes working on a Camtasia how-to video to walk students through the new assessment system. I check the LMS again, as messages typically come in within two hours of class starting, and send students two recent links about our class topic, banned and challenged books. For students in my online course, heavily enrolled by pre-service teachers, I tweet ideas gleaned from NPR stories heard on my morning commute:
— Sarah R. Wakefield (@SR_Wakefield) February 5, 2014
9:53AM-10:54AM: I attend a meeting over curriculum changes.
10:58AM – 11:50AM: Literature class! We review the six ELAR skills as pairs (reading-writing, speaking-listening, viewing-representing) and the trial in The Merchant of Venice with Prezi, a handout with two excerpts to analyze, and film clips. We discuss whether or not the play is anti-Semitic. Students come up with their own lesson or assignment on the reading / viewing and tweet anonymously to Poll Everywhere. This our third poll in four weeks.
12:05PM-1:00PM: Office hours! I start writing this blog entry. It’s Wednesday, and every Wednesday, I search the past weeks of assignments in my online course for late work (we have four weeks of grammar activities + LinkedIn profiles, Twitter feeds, Pinterest boards, and reflection on all three tools) and post points to Engrade, the free online grade book, which I have used since Fall 2012. I start to grade the Twitter assignment that was due on Monday, checking for shortened URLs and interaction with others; I reply to one tweet from each student. I send CMS messages and also direct-message tweets to students who are falling behind. Since it’s also the first week of our 10-week blog project, I start building the course blogroll for Spring 2014 here in WordPress.
1:00PM- 2:00PM: I continue doing all of the above while also listening to the Chronicle of Higher Education live chat about adjunct faculty. I take breaks to help one student determine the best course to transfer from another college and to go over scholarship opportunities with another. I put together a worksheet for my Friday class.
2:00PM-3:00PM: I still have half of the Twitter assignments to mark. I pause to send out new info about our department’s Communication Week, via our official Twitter and Facebook accounts.
3:00PM-3:40PM: I comment on early blog entries and grade some Week 4 assignments already posted. I reassure a student about majoring in Communication. I remember to print Friday’s worksheet before I leave. Officially, my office hours end at 3pm, but I rarely leave then. I usually stay until after 4pm, but I have to meet the school bus for once.
4:15PM-5:56PM: I just make it in time to fetch Child #3 from the the bus. He needs to work on the video portion of his school report. He already wrote the report itself using Google Drive. He gathers 40 colored balls, a globe, a dime, a wooden spoon, sea horse stick puppets, etc. He directs. I film. The video will be uploaded to YouTube on the private setting and the URL sent to his teacher. She plans to create QR codes for each movie, which will be attached to the 12×18 book covers the students drew in class. Students will be able to scan the codes for the book covers they like and watch the related video. How’s that for digital learning in the first grade?!
5:57PM-9:15PM: Children complete homework. I ferry Child #3 to a lesson, where I sit, laptop open, working on my materials for Friday’s class and retweeting information from our COMM Week. Dinner, somehow, happens. Laundry does not. Child #3 arranges more video shoots, this time attempting to make our orange cat sit still on our orange-colored floor to illustrate camouflage. I am impressed by the creativity but alarmed for the cat. One scene requires sucking up a Rice Krispie with a straw. I dutifully film and wonder if I can train Child #3 in video editing in the next 24 hours.
9:16PM to sometime tomorrow: Children #2 and #3 are in bed. I download video clips from the camera to the computer for editing tomorrow. I grade more discussions, tweets, pins, and blogs for my online class. I add some critical excerpts to Friday’s presentation. I take two minutes to look at photos of my nieces on Facebook. I work on an academic article that I’ve been tweaking for the last five months. I probably spend more time than I realize staring blankly into space.