Mrs LindaYollis, is a classroom teacher from California, USA. I've always enjoyed her class site for not only the variety of resources and work that she's posted but also the interactive nature of her students work and site. I've spoken about this before but a recent exchange between our classrooms has reinforced to me about how vital it is to involve your students in a rich collaborative task.
Having been online now for three years its fair to say there are a significant number of classrooms online. I try and get out and about as much as possible, leaving comments on students work, and having the members of my classroom do the same but generally I only persist if there's comments and communication coming back the other way. One of the things that initially caused me to connect to Will Chamberlain, Joe McClung and Jarrod Lamshed from At the Teachers Desk was the fact that amongst these educators there was feedback and feedforward for the students in our classroom from the point of first contact.
Mrs Yollis has take time and care to respond to comments that we've left on her site and highlight the contribution that individual students have made. I have seen the affect this has had on our students and how well they have responded to it. Early this year Mrs Yollis and her class produced a video entitled 'Lets Learn Spanish'. While we could have responded, and we did respond by commenting, I felt that it would be an excellent opportunity to film our students in an interactive example. We did so and the students were really enthused and engaged by the task. Mrs Yollis also mentioned the fact that they would do something similar with one of our tutorials. Lo and behold on Thursday we found a video that was produced in response to work that we have posted online.
As far as I am concerned this ticks all the boxes in terms of being a higher order activity for our students. Its empowering, the students have had a meaningful experience, its involved our students as global citizens and they've made a meaningful contribution (in forms of teaching) to students in another part of the world. I would implore everyone reading this to think about this in terms of commenting and interacting with other classroom sites. While the commenting is a vital part of the learning process just as important is interacting with students in a collaborative sense, if you haven't tried something like this think about it, I cannot recommend it enough! On an educational level I would also like to thanks Mrs Yollis and her class for their help with this work.