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The Power of Student Email

Oh word, but my students have really been blowing me away lately with the way they are using the technology I have incorporated into our classroom activities!

On Monday, each student had to turn in an essay he/she had revised.  The revision counted as a test grade.

I had taken my students to the computer lab the week before to train them how to use Google Drive (more information about this in a future post).  I gave them a class period to begin typing their essays and instructed them to finish at home.  I allowed the couple of students who didn’t have internet access at home to turn in handwritten essays.

One of my girls had been absent a lot the week before, so I gave her a couple of extra days to complete the assignment.

The night before her due date, I began receiving emails from her school email account to mine.  She needed help, and she provided the introduction she had written.

We went back and forth quite a few times as I clarified instructions and answered her questions.

I assured her that I would be up late and she could keep emailing me.

She did…until 12am.  Yes, I am a night owl.  I also couldn’t leave her hanging.

She turned in a beautiful essay the next day.

My email correspondence with my students has begun to expand beyond homework help.

I received the following from one of my gentlemen on Thursday…

This guy had read his way through Marie Lu’s book series, Legend, which I’d purchased, at his request, in recent months.

Champion, which he referred to in his email, was the third installment in the series.

I guess I know what I’ll be reading soon.

Meanwhile, I had another student who was looking for Champion.  I discovered that it wasn’t on the shelf, so I sent the first young man an email, fully aware that he checks it regularly…during school even.

Sure enough, within a few short minutes, he had responded and told me that he’d do his best to deliver it to my other student’s math class.

I’m finding myself very excited at what’s happening in my classroom.

Teaching students how to use Gmail and Google Drive is opening up new avenues for discussion and self monitoring.

One of my students sent me an email after school yesterday inquiring about specific grades “I had given her” (as opposed to “her earning”).  When I got home and pulled up her grades, I was able to respond, with a full accounting.  The funniest part of her email was how she attached screen shots of a survey she had completed for an assignment…the results of which didn’t go through to the Google Form I had created.

She won that point.

You know the saying, “When you give a mouse a cookie.”

Well, in my case, when you teach kids how to use “grown up” tools, they begin to take ownership of their learning.  They begin to ask questions they are uncomfortable asking in front of big groups.  They become co-facilitators of their educational experience.

I continue to be amazed, humbled, and honored at what I get to do each day.

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2 Responses

  1. You are so amazing at being a teacher… obviously! 🙂

  2. Fantastic! I love to read success stories like this. Keep up the good work.

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