I was talking with my 14 year old sister the other day and I was telling her that she should check out my blog. She asked what it was for and I told her that we were learning about how to use technology in the classroom. This is how our conversation went:
Me: You should check out my blog!
Alix: Why? What’s it for?
Me: A class. We’re learning how to use technology in the classroom.
Alix: Oh! Like smartboards and D2L?
Me: Uhm… What’s D2L?
Alix: It’s the online thing that shows us our marks and stuff. We even get our reportcards on it!
Me: So you don’t get a hardcopy of your reportcards anymore?
Alix: Nope! It’s awesome ‘cuz sometimes mom and dad forget to ask to see it!
Me: What about the kids who don’t have internet?
Alix: Sara… I live in Alberta, not Saskatchewan…
As soon as we finished that conversation I thought “I need to put that on my blog!” Not because it is poking fun at Saskatchewan, but because my sister seems to know more about technology in the classroom than I do! I have never heard of D2L before and therefore had no idea that it was being used in classrooms! Alix told me that teachers put all of their assignment marks online so that they–the students–can keep track of their grades and know, at all times, where they sit. When I was in high school, we were given interm-report cards once between reporting periods. These either caused tremendous amounts of relief amongst my peers: whew! My average is the same! A sense of excitement: Right on! This is the best I’ve ever done in this class! Or a sense of despair: Oh no… I didn’t think I was doing this badly! What am I going to do? Point is, students rarely ever had any idea how they were doing in a class.
Although I had never thought about it before, I was glad to hear that students are now being given full access to their grades. Why hide them? Why shouldn’t students know where they sit? How can you expect a student to “pick up their socks” when they don’t know that they are behind in the first place? I think that this D2L sounds like a pretty handy tool, and I hope that the school division that I end up working in is either currently using it, or will consider using it in the near future.
Has anyone heard of a program like D2L? Did anyone use it in their internship? When they were in High School?