In my classroom, each of my grade one and grade two students has their own blog. These blogs also serve as digital portfolios. Throughout the school year, the children post artifacts of their learning from all subject areas, including writing samples, podcasts of reading fluency, photos of artwork, explanations of mathematics concepts and videos that summarize their learning in science, health and social studies. (Note: The videos linked to in this blog post work best when played through Google Chrome.)
The children have these online portfolios for many reasons, including an authentic audience, parental engagement, and the opportunity to create an online community. We also use these digital portfolios for assessment, but not in the “this goes on the report card” sense that you might expect.
Read more: Assessing Student Progress Using Blog-Based Porfolios.
Three years ago I started blogging with my 4th grade students on a whim. I knew three things at the start: I wanted to get them connected with each other; I wanted to give them a voice, and I knew I had to change the way they wrote. So I started blogging with them – fumbling my way through the how to and the when to.
What I had no way of knowing was how blogging would change the way I taught, how blogging would give my students a way to speak to the world, and how blogs would make it possible for them to create lasting global connections with other children.
Blogging has since become an integral part of my classroom. It’s a way for me to check the emotional temperature of my kids and a way for them to add their voice to the continuing education debate and reach out to other communities. We no longer just wonder how things are done in other countries. We blog and ask questions and get our answers.
So when I meet with any teacher who wonders how to lower the walls of their classroom and create more authentic learning opportunities, my first advice is to get students blogging.
If they’re interested, I share these steps. They grow out of my own experience working with upper elementary-aged kids, and I believe they can help any middle grades teacher successfully launch a blogging program and integrate it
Read more: 10 + 1 Steps to Meaningful Student Blogging | MiddleWeb.
Writing in classrooms seems to me to have two wildly different, conflicting purposes: a limited, traditional and strict purpose – because exams, like many decent jobs, will be about written skill; and a wider, idealistic one: the ultimate method of exchange of ideas in depth. So, first, we should repeatedly use formal tests to acclimatise students to exam-specific writing requirements – dull, precise, necessarily regular. And beyond that, we’d let writing have free rein, encouraging students to be as ambitious, open-ended and wide-ranging as possible. That would mean loosening up most classroom time outside of the revise/test/peer-mark cycle to be about project work, self-directed learning, talk and flexibility; and we’d make the recording of learning a highly flexible process, for students to write what, and when, they like.
So I’ve spent the past few months with GCSE and A-level classes doing absolutely no writing at all beyond sample tests and student blogs.
Full Text: Blogging in the classroom: why your students should write online | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional.
Here are some highlights.
- 25 percent of Facebook users don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. [If this is you get some help on this]
- 750 tweets per second are shared on Twitter.
- LinkedIn’s revenue has doubled every quarter for the last two years.
- The average visitor spends 15 minutes per day on YouTube.
- Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.
- Google+ is adding 625,000 new users every day.
- Klout has 50 times more traffic than PeerIndex, its closest competitor.
- Tablets took just two years to reach 40 million users in the U.S. It took smartphones seven years to reach this figure.
Read the Full Text here: 52 cool social media facts | Articles.