I have always felt that Home Bound students always get really diluted version of the courses they are taking in school. It is always very difficult for me to pay enough attention to these students. In my school, a Home Bound student is a students who is unable to attend regular face2face classes due to chronic illness, pregnancy, expulsion, truancy and/or other social/emotional issues. The school district pays for a tutor to go to the student's home a couple of times a week carrying the student's assignments and books and helping them stay on track with their class work.
This is difficult to achieve because often, the home bound teacher simply picks up the homework from her school mailbox and maintains little to no communication with the classroom teacher. Please undersand, this is not an indictment of the Home Bound teachers, who often have a full teaching schedule themselves and does not really get time to speak to individual teachers.
So this term, I devised a way for my Home Bound students to be just a little bit more connected with me and my course and avoid mountains of paper work sent home every week. I thought it would be interesting to create an eNotebook using a wiki. Wikis are interactive so students can edit the page us sent them to their hearts content.
Here is what I did: I created a page for each Home Bound student using wikispaces.com . I call this, the eNotebook. Then I included the following information at the top of the :
a short "Getting Started" checklist
a short Intro Video made with iMovie and posted on Youtube then embedded into the page using the wikispaces video widget. I know, that sounds totally nerdy but wikispaces is so self explanatory and easy to use...it really is! If it helps, we can arrange a tutorial on how to use wikispaces.com
an interractive Course Calendar created with google calendar and embedded using wikispaces calendar widget
Student assignments for the week including due dates and a Youtube link to a video the face2face students watched in class
Instructions on where to begin writing the assignments
And a space for the student to leave questions.
Once I made list of what I wanted to include, the whole page took me about 30 minutes to put together. Considering that most of my students see me for 71 minutes every day, 30 minutes per week to spend on a lone Home Bound student is hardly a drop in the bucket.
My goal is not only to deliver assignments to the Home Bound student but to really engage them and help them believe that indeed, someone is putting some costumized lessons and individualized time into helping them learn and stay connected.
HERE IS an eNotebook page I created for Amanda, one of my Home Bound students this year.
This eNotebook coupled with a short Skype.com meeting with the student once a week, could really improve the Home Bound student's chances of really learning in your class.