This week I was able to sign time out for my students to get their hands on computers and access their Big Universe accounts. They walked excitedly up to the "Computer Clubhouse", username and password in hand, ready to wake up those computers and get things started. After a couple of log in issues, (quickly retyping in the students' usernames and passwords seemed to fix the issue right away), the students were off and running.
It was fun to watch them! Their eyes wide and mouths smiling, each student quickly got to their page and selected an avatar - the personalization of their own account. Then they were mostly off to complete their first assignment - reading When Pigs Fly. Unfortunately, our time was coming to a close as many of them were finishing the book. I hated to stop them. They were clearly enjoying their time in the Big Universe, reading, for many of them, their first ebook.
At the end of the day, I gave each student a copy of the parent letter (found under your "Manage Account" tab when you log in). The expressions on some of the kids' faces were priceless. "We can go on this at home?!"
"Yes!" I would say. And they did!
The next morning, I logged onto Big Universe and checked out the "View Usage Stats" in my "Manage Account" tab. I was so happy to see that many of my students had gone online to Big U the previous evening. One boy in particular surprised me. The quiet, disorganized, yet pleasant boy who needs so much assistance getting himself motivated to work had read the book plus six others and had added 12 books to his bookshelf. YAY! Other students had read the book as well, some read a couple in addition and one girl had taken the quiz (without my assigning it).
That next day, students were asking about when we would be able to go on again. "Soon," I said, reminding them that they can go online anytime on our student computer and of course at home.
Big Universe has already made a big impression on my class. I'm looking forward to using it more and more for classroom assignments and individual students' needs as the year progresses.
image from: http://family.go.com/parenting/article-mm-78199-social-networking-web-sites-and-more-t/