Digital Volunteers – Gaining Momentum

We are proud to say in a classroom of 50 third grade students, we now officially have 33 adult Digital Volunteers who want to be involved in helping students engage and learn! That is a lot of feedback just waiting to be untapped! How do teachers ensure Digital Volunteers are prepared to help give focused feedback? Let’s find out…

Today students are learning and blogging about Typhoid Mary. Ms. Bennet and Mrs. Konrad emailed their expectations to the Digital Volunteers to help streamline commenting and provide sentence starters for the adults.

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Click HERE to preview the entire email and generate ideas on how you might use this process in your school.

I am often asked, how do we manage our Digital Volunteers? In the past, we have tried a flexible structure where all Digital Volunteers just went out and gave feedback on any student post, encouraging parents to start with those who had fewer comments.

After brainstorming with one of our project collaborators from Canada, Kelli Holden, we decided to create Comment Buddies to allow for building relationships with a core group of digital friends. We feel this will be a great process for our Weekly Reading posts that begin this Screen Shot 2014-09-16 at 10.01.38 AMweek!

Imagine students coming into school on Monday and engaging with their Comment Buddies on topics that are of interest to them!

We were intentional with grouping students to ensure the number of comments would be manageable for our Digital Volunteers and a variety of student interest and ability would be a represented in each group.

We also worked to ensure we have more than one adult Digital Volunteer in each group as we know life happens and there will be times where feedback doesn’t occur in a timely fashion.

As I reflect on this process, I realize we have also created a system that yields an unintended benefit. We are providing a platform for our parents to make authentic connections with other adults in our learning community. Through this process, we are building capacity and understanding of a changing educational system.

I can’t wait to read and engage with students and their EPiC 3rd Grade blog posts tonight!

One response to “Digital Volunteers – Gaining Momentum

  1. Another unintended benefit for digital volunteers is getting to know our children’s peers. It takes a village and over time it will be wonderful to know their names, faces, and stories. Will the comment buddies rotate at all? Thank you, this will be great for Epic!


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