Google Drive will be our primary learning management system. Students will use the form at the tmiclass website for their period/course. Once they fill out a simple google form, they will get an email with a link to the document that has been created, shared, and named (both the document title and heading are auto-created) appropriately. That will cut down on the hundreds of "untitled document"s crowding our drive and will keep everything organised in folders perfectly. All students will also need a gmail, which they will create if they don't already have one (or if they don't have a "professional" gmail).
MentorMob will be where our students keep their finished (major) assignments. All essays, projects and large assignments will be organised in their own playlist. That makes grading easy, and helps students find things quickly. This was the mid-semester improvisation that made the biggest difference to our ability to be technologically effective. The students LOVED using it. They actually started adding things to their playlist even when it wasn't necessary. We also use playlists for each unit, named in a standard way and shortened, like this: bit.ly/tmisax1 (where SAX=course title, and 1=unit number).
Our Course Website will be where students can find missing assignments, linked to playlists, the google form for document creation, and other important links. We maintain a blog with a daily narrative of what we're working on and what's due.
For the Blank White Page project, we will be having students create a public blog on KidBlog. We didn't use it well this semester, but the place it seems to fit better is as a place to reflect, brainstorm, and publish their BWP projects. We won't grade this as such, but it also allows students to work with each other much more effectively; it also gives them something that has a wider audience than their own classmates and teacher. I will be tweeting out good entries using the hashtag #comments4kids to solicit feedback for them.
It's so important to start using new media effectively, and this will give them a taste of that, as well as a more academic digital footprint (which is incredibly important, especially since so many Redwood students are bound for a four year competitive college). However, we won't be introducing this until the end of the first unit so that we don't overwhelm them from the beginning.
I will be encouraging students to communicate with me through gmail and twitter, but we won't be requiring them to sign up for twitter. However, it's always the fastest way to reach me if they have questions, so I'll do a little "Twitter 101" video to show them how it works. We'll also need them to have YouTube accounts, but that's pretty easy with a gmail. Finally, many will sign up for bitly or another link shortener because they find it so useful. But it won't be required.
It still seems like a lot of technology, but we believe each has a place, and our system will allow for us to be far more organised and effective this semester. Plus, all of these have legitimate real-world applications and will benefit them even after they leave our class.