After attending another action packed conference, my firm belief that technology integration is key in all aspects of education was confirmed. This week’s Ontario Cooperative Education Association’s spring conference was full of sessions encouraging Coop teachers to go digital in their classroom.
The more I reflect on what I heard the more I felt confident that the message I keep sending to teachers is true. As important as it is for teachers to integrate technology into their 4 walled classroom, the nature of cooperative education lends itself to an online environment.
As students complete their pre placement programs and prepare themselves to enter into a workplace, to participate in various opportunities for learning, they remove themselves from the building and the proximity of their teacher.
There are many great ways for Coop teachers to create online environments where students can go to collect their resources, to dialogue with the teacher and other students and to reflect on the learning occurring in their placement. Google Classrooms, D2L spaces and Edmodo are just a few to consider. These spaces provide students with a quick spot to reference important teachings that occurred in the preplacement part of the course. These spaces offer a way to connect to resources that may help them as they encounter issues, have questions or reflect on the placement and their learnings.
Coop teachers can use this space to become more efficient. Posting the information once, for all students to reference, saves time when dealing with attendance issues or even when referring back to their teachings.
These spaces help contain the assignments, quizzes and other assessment that happens as the course progresses. Visiting one site to see all student’s work, logs and concerns saves time and resources.
Regardless of the reason for choosing to host your cooperative education course online, teachers must model its use, reference its content and encourage students to make visiting the site part of their daily habit. Pairing any digital classroom environment with www.remind.com helps to direct students back to the content, resources and assignments easily, one message for all students.
If you are interested in ways to make your coop classroom online effective, efficient and enjoyable, check out my Tips to Creating an Online Coop Community.