My first semester of attempting a 1 to 1 learning environment is past the half way mark. My students have been under the tutelage of a student teacher for the past 5 weeks. During this time, they have used technology occasionally, but not on a daily basis. Now that they are stuck with me again full time, I’m working on ameliorating some things that were not as successful as I would have liked.
I’m still not sure that I’m sold on Edmodo. One of the things that I was hoping that it could do, but turned out to not do easily at least, is to be a platform for students to interact with their peer’s writing. My solution: Kidblog.org. You can check out what we’re up to at http://kidblog.org/MrsKannekensEnglish/. Each student has their own blog, nested within the classroom blog. Viewers must be logged in to read or comment on student content (unless I change the settings for certain content).
I have long heard teachers on Twitter expound on the benefits of having students blog. While I’ve most often considered trying it in my Social Studies course on globalization, I think that it may be the format solution for having students interact with other student writing. Introducing the platform with a half hour left before a 10 day school vacation likely wasn’t the most effective launch, but I look forward to having students experiment with the tool when we return.
Kidblog offers students a very authentic blogging experience, as the editing space looks and feels very similar to Trying something new: KidblogWordPress. It allows students to tag and categorize from teacher produced lists, to save and publish, and to add links.
If nothing else, it allows students to be CREATORS of content instead of merely CONSUMERS. This in itself is a worthwhile lesson.