Monday, January 19, 2009

Efficient management of student user computer privledges

In his book, "The Courage to Teach", Parker Palmer talks about the complexities of being the teacher, that is leader, of the classroom. In his book he tries to, "think the world together." He uses the concept of, Paradox to do this. I find it useful to consider Palmer's six paradoxes when designing classroom sessions:
  1. The space should be bounded and open.
  2. The space should be hospitable and "charged."
  3. The space should invite the voice of the individual and the voice of the group.
  4. The space should honor the "little" stories of the students and the "big" stories of the disciplines and tradition.
  5. The space should support solitude and surround it with the resources of community.
  6. The space should welcome both silence and speech
The first paradox, bounded and open, applies to different dimensions including student management. If one has no rules, the environment is so open that little exploration can occur as it is an emotionally unsafe environment. However, if it is too restrictive, likewise no exploration will occur. When I'm designing the student management system for the growing communities of scientists classroom I try to balance the needs of openness and boundedness. In this spirit, consider the 4 level permissions approach. At the bottom of that page it shows ideas for accomplishing this provided by Jordan Mantha and response to his blog post.

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