Help needed, Twitterpeeps

So, I need to think through my use of the student blog idea I wrote about earlier.

I have some learning outcomes:

1.  Students will create a space for a professional digital footprint

  • Students will devlop digital citizenship skills.
  • Students will understand the idea of different registers (spaces, voice, content). Although they should be responsible for all content they post, they need to understand the difference between personal and professional.
  • Students could observe their own progress by creating a portfolio of their work as they move through high school, taking pictures of and possibly blogging about their work, skills, interests.
  • Students will have the opportunity to see how writing can help focus their planning and ideas.

2. Students will have a Genius Hour every week, sometimes more, in which they will investigate and report on an area of interest for them.

  • Students will learn how independent study works
  • Students will engage with a passion or interest to learn new skills or information
  • Students will learn different ways to report to a class on this learning

The blog can be one way to report on their work, and to provide evidence to me that they are engaged in the learning. In discussion with another colleague, we decided that students would either pass or fail this segment. They were engaged and showed their learning, or they weren’t. Somehow, I can’t just leave accountability out of it.

Finally, if it was appropriate, students could submit the work they do during Genius Hour to a classroom teacher to satisfy learning outcomes from that class. If a student wrote an anime comic book, they could submit it to me for their English portfolio. If they created something in Google Sketchup, they could submit it to their drafting teacher.

Here is where I need some help:

  • What do you think of my plan? Please help me with constructive criticism – I don’t want to get this wrong.
  • What platform should I use? Obviously, I am familiar with WordPress, so would be able to help them. I don’t really want to set up a classroom blog, because my great wish would be that they would take this blog with them through high school.  Am I wrong in thinking this could work like this? I had one recommendation on Twitter for Posterous. Thoughts??
  • Student digital footprint – As a teacher, I use my full name. Should they? It is meant to be their professional footprint after all.
  • Assessment, bloody assessment. Does my pass/fail work on a report home? Obviously, I would give plenty of written and verbal encouragement.
  • Parental permission, notification?

Thanks for any ideas you may have.

2 thoughts on “Help needed, Twitterpeeps

  1. I am about to run out the door but here is my two bits.

    YES kids need a digital space and it needs to be a reflection of what they do best.

    They should have a full blown website/digital space by the time leave high school

    Parents need to be aware of this space once it goes live into the big bad world

    I would ensure parents have the link to the site so they can take a look at any time.

    I have purchased a URL for each of my kids using their name. They do not use it, it is just a place holder until they decide they want to use it.

    Some kids will want their own site, privately hosted. If the parents are OK with it Giddy up!

    I would encourage anyone who wants to create a site, to use Word Press just because it can become anything you want it to be. You might want to create a WordPress MU site using buddy press. It would give you complete control but there is the headache of admin’ing the site.

    School based blogs are great but they are in house and tend to be limiting in what you can do with them. The single most important thing, regardless of what you use is the ability to export that site so that it can be recreated as a privately hosted site once a kid is out of school.

    I am desperately trying to move away from marks in the traditional sense. Comments – comments – comments. Is it good enough? why or why not. Not sure if parents or kids could ever get their head around a no number system.

    We need to teach kids the difference between personal digital space such as a blog and a social digital space such as facebook, Although some might argue that they are the same, they have two distinctly different purposes.

    I think we need to teach kids to be responsible digital citizens and part of that is getting out and interacting with others on the web. NO kids should not have their info out for the world to see (in most cases) but teaching kids to hide and not be a part of the outside world will not help them as they emerge into adult hood.

    That is all I got! Hope it helps

  2. Just connecting back to your comments as I once again consider the importance of student portfolios of work and the need for them to be self-evaluating. Thanks so much, Keith, and I may be in touch on this.

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