Proverbs 23:12a Apply your heart to instruction.

Archive for July, 2014

Equitable Supplies

A Check List for a Well Supplied and Equitable Classroom

(Preface: It is well known that Socrates never wrote a book.  His student, Plato, broke ranks to write his idealistic vision, The Republic.  Beware of the moderator who would answer a question.)

Problem: You are an instructor who desires to maintain an equitable classroom.  One problem among many is that of asking students to bring extraordinary supplies to class. This might include supplementary books, publisher software, or whatever you find missing in the supply closet.  Is there a way to ask students to bring supplies to class that is fair and equitable?

Answer:  Follow this ten-point checklist to make your class a well-supplied and equitable classroom

  • Insofar as it is possible choose and request supplies that confirm to the ideal of universal design learning (UDL) standards.


  • Assume and act upon the premise that your class provides the only opportunity for students to have equal internet access.


  • Insofar as it is possible reduce or eliminate the need for extraordinary supplies by making use of open-source resources.


  • Wherever possible provide extraordinary resources such as handouts, off-prints, and electronic resources you have the rights to offer.


  • Ask and answer: Is the resource necessary?


  • Encourage students to work collaboratively to promote an equitable environment.


  • Adopt a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly method for obtaining print or purchase resources. This may include convenient resource rentals and shareware.


  • Find Web 2.0 tools to make resources available such as e-reader apps or Google Drive sharable documents.


  • Understand that you may be accountable for creating an equitable learning environment, and you cannot be held accountable for overcoming all learning disparities.


  • Empower learners to help the instructor and fellow classmates maintain an equitable learning environment, and have fun.

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Supply Line Horrors

Do you have a classroom supply-line horror story?

Let’s call the student Jim.

Jim met with his advisor in Fall to set up classes for Spring, 2014.   Jim was advised to take a core requirement in Spring, 2014. The syllabus states that students are asked to purchase a publisher’s course packet, that is, a license to a software packet.  Students with used books had to purchase the code to get the license.

Week one.: Jim learned that the teacher required a publisher’s course packet.

Week three: Jim got a used book from a classmate, and he was debating how he could buy the license.

Week eight: Jim scrapes through the mid-term without the course packet.

Week nine: Jim meets with his advisor to select classes for the Fall semester.  The Spring course is not mentioned.

Week eleven: Jim’s daughter calls Jim’s advisor to ask if the bookstore has the publisher’s license.  The advisor calls the bookstore and is told it is in stock.

Week twelve: Jim calls his advisor to see if it is too late to withdraw from the class.  Yes, it is too late.

Week thirteen: Jim and his advisor sit in the computer lab and log into the free two-week trial packet. This is the two-week trial packet the teacher provided at the beginning of the course.

Week fifteen: Jim’s advisor asks Jim how his class is going.  He says its going fine, but the free trial packet expired before he could finish all the assignments.

Week sixteen: Jim ends the class, and goes on summer break.

Week seventeen: Jim’s advisor is asking himself a question: Does Jim need to repeat a class?

Scares me, sure ‘nough, since I am Jim’s advisor.

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