Sunday, September 9, 2012

The On-Line Activity Permission Slip

While my school district has a very clear Media/Website consent form specific to public media and our school district website there is no consent form yet in place for the on-line activities I do with my class.  These activities include but are not limited to our class blog, my students' individual blogs, our class tweeting, our class skyping, and the global projects we take part in on-line.  Last year, when I got involved with this connected world I created my permission slip which you can find here.  At the time I created it I had no idea where my on-line connections were going to go.  I don't think I had even considered having my students have their own blogs, or that we would be participating in such incredible global projects. But I digress.  Knowing what I know now, and where we took our learning last year I'm at a point where I feel I need a new, updated permission slip.

For the past several weeks this has been on my mind. I have begun creating permission slips to later start again.  As I am about to meet my official 2012-2013 class some time this week (hopefully tomorrow) I need to have my permission slip approved by my admin and ready to go home so we can get started on our exciting year of on-line learning.  I have a very clear picture in my head of why I feel this global collaboration is so important so I thought it would be easy to create a new form.

Boy, was I ever wrong.  After starting and stopping over the past few weeks I realized I needed serious  time to get it done.  I wanted to inform my parents about why we are doing so many things digitally.  I ended up with a two page tightly typed information sheet, and then a one page permissions slip. While I had a lot of fantastic information behind the "why" and the safety protocols I have in place it was way too wordy.  I needed to cut it back. It had to be shorter and clearer particularly for my parent community who come from many non English speaking places.

After a lot of editing I was able to come up with a permission slip that I was happy with and that my administration approved. You can find a copy of it here (with some formatting and my personal contact details removed). If it is helpful for you please feel free to copy/share/modify to make it work for your needs.  

But, that wasn't good enough for me because I really want the parents to know the why and the how behind our on-line activities so I took it another step forward.  I added a page to my class blog that is entitled "Why Do We Learn On-Line?"  Here I share the thinking behind why we are doing what we are doing. Again, if you find this information helpful please don't hesitate to copy/share/modify to make it work for your needs.

Have you had a similar experience? Is there something that I haven't thought about that really should be include either on my information/permission slip or my class blog page? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. Hi Karen,

    I am in the process of working on all of these things right now too! Thanks for sharing your links, it is so helpful to see what other teachers have done! I will probably combine my last years notice with some bits of yours for this year!

    Thanks for always sharing your expertise with the rest of is so kind of you! And it is comforting to see someone else doing something so similar to me :)

    Have a wonderful first day with your real class tomorrow! We get our official kids tomorrow too!


  2. Thanks Gallit. I do feel very strongly that we all need to share what we are learning and creating. I feel like I'm keeping secrets if I don't share. I'd love to see your permission slip when you've completed it too.

    Now your tweet on twitter reminded me that I really never covered our use of on-line technology such as Web 2.0 or even basic websites for learning. Nor have I explored/explained how using mobile technology such as iPads or iPods can be used as learning tools in our classroom. All in time I will get that information up as well. Right now I felt it was most important that the parents/guardians of my students understand the connections and sharing that we will make and have with with other like minded children around the world.

    Best of luck to you tomorrow too.

  3. Karen,

    Thank you so much for this thorough post with GDocs and a very useful link!

    May I use some of your wording from your "why online" page? Thank you for sharing all of this - I'll be sure to modify my permission slip for next year; yours is very inclusive!

    Thanks for modeling another great post again- I've got to remember to link my GDocs when I create posts next summer - I don't seem to think of this - thanks for reminding me!

    And thanks for being such a great resource in the Twitter world - I can't imagine hoe teachers at your school benefit from learning from you!


  4. Joy, thank you so much for your kind comment. As a connected educator I feel really strongly that we should share what we are doing in our classrooms. Our jobs are tough enough meeting the individual needs of all our wonderful students so why reinvent the wheel. I'm also fortunate that I've had great people share their great thinking with me. Please feel free to use what you find helpful and modify as needed.


  5. Thanks for sharing Karen! I am venturing into blogging with my class and this was extremely helpful.

    1. I'm so glad you found it helpful. Of all the things I changed last year, implementing blogging professionally, with my class, and with my students was the most powerful. I hope you love it just as much as I do. Karen

  6. You are most welcome. I hope you find it helpful.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I am planning for my students to participate in the Global Read Aloud and Quadblogging next year, so need to update my permission slips this summer. Yours is very close to what I think I need.