Today I started something new with my year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies students. It sure isn’t a new idea, but the format in which the idea is executed is indeed ‘new’ for me. Given that Year 12 in Victoria is by far the most important and stressful year for the students, Ive decided to give each student in my class a monthly report. The report is a simple rubric type format, that allows for quick feedback and comments to the students about their progress within the previous month.
When I was in year 12 my teacher did something similar and I found it to be a very useful addition as I felt that the more feedback I was getting the better I would work to make that feedback good. So back in 2003 when I finished my last year at school, we were given a piece of paper with our reports at the end of each month. This worked well for the time, but today we are spoilt for choice in the way we could deliver similar reports. With this in mind I decided to send the reports, which are typed up word documents to my students cell phones via MMS messaging. The basic premise is that the students would receive a message alert on their phones which would contain a document that included their monthly report. Students then had the opportunity to respond via SMS or ask questions about their process.
All in all a very simple, yet powerful way of combining the technology that the students have, with a process that remains useful to this very day. The next step is to send a copy to the parents phones, so that they can also see the progress of their students within my classes via their phones.
To send MMS messages to a group of phones from your computer you can use a service such as www.smsglobal.com.au