A New Era of Classroom Transparency
Think back to when you were in middle school, high school, or maybe even college. For most of us, there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding teachers’ grading processes. It was hard to keep track of all the assignments, report cards were often full of surprises, and sometimes it seemed like final grades were based simply on how much the teacher did or didn’t like you.
As teachers, we know that a final grade is largely a matter of mathematics—a summation of the grades a student has earned throughout the course. But the numbers that seem so clear in our gradebooks are often a mystery to students. This opacity isn’t limited to the teacher-student relationship, either. Up until recently, if a teacher wanted to share what was happening in the classroom with a parent, a collaborator, or an administrator, the options were pretty sparse: a course syllabus, a periodic newsletter, a quick conference, or occasional classroom updates at staff meetings.
But technology is changing that dynamic. The Internet, in particular, has become a powerful tool for sharing what was once seen as restricted. This has altered the teaching profession in numerous ways, creating a wealth of new online resources and networking and professional development opportunities. It is also enabling teachers to open up their classrooms and bring more...
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