You’re WELCOME! Maximizing your EDU/NEO “Welcome” Launch Page
Type of technology: Online website (district learning platform–EDU2.0/NEO)
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade level: Upper Elementary – High School
Subject area: Universal/Social Studies
Cost: Free! (via district contract)
The more I use EDU2.0, now “NEO,” I find new ways to use it as a communication tool and a classroom teaching tool that maximizes concentrated learning time and organizes independent learning “centers” or “stations.” Like many of us, I use the Welcome Page as my classroom “launch page,” the page students see when they login to my class.
Using the configure icon (the at the top right of the Welcome page), I can dress up my Welcome page with images, “must-see” information, films, even “secret” academic messages that will benefit students who visit NEO on a regular basis (like, “If you read this message, you’ll get points for short essay #2 if you write, ‘I’m in the know, Ms. J.’) .
Because I can “enable” and “disable” elements on the Welcome page, I can easily edit the page to attract my students’ attention to the specific elements they’ll need for an in-class activity or homework assignments. A few of my colleagues use the Welcome page as a platform for their “Do Now” warm-up activities, posted on the classroom screen.
I have found the Welcome launch page useful in classroom “learning centers” activities requiring rapid-fire exposure to content that students can access and process individually (or with a partner) via cell phone, iPad, and/or laptops. For example, in a recent overview of World War I, students traveled to various stations with targeted tasks:
- Poetry & Prose from the Trenches
- Film Center #1–The Influenza Pandemic of 1919
- Film Center #2–Stalemate (Trench Warfare)
- Film Center #3–The Armenian Genocide
- Alliances–Who’s Who in WWI?
- Primary Document Analysis–14 Points and Treaty of Versailles…
On the Welcome page, students accessed these short, 5-minute film segments using iPads and viewed them with earbuds or headphones in pairs in order to complete the assignment for that center.
Students can toggle between the Welcome page and a NEO assignment page (essay or discussion or quiz) where they respond to the film or information posted on the Welcome page, or they can respond with pen/cil on a guide with directed, purposeful questions or issues that address relevance and/or encourage analytical thinking or creative response.
I think of the Welcome page as an invitation to students to come into the curriculum and help them make more meaning from it–in the classroom or at home. I invite you to comment and share your Welcome page ideas.