So, for our Science Fair project this year we’ve decided to have students blog about their progress and what they are learning. I spent a ridiculous amount of time searching different ways to incorporate students’ blogging into the classroom. I perused blogging rubrics ad nauseam. I read countless reviews of different blogging sites and I searched every possible free blogging site.
Finally, I settled on using blogger.com, especially since all of my students have Google accounts and I can easily link each student’s blog site to my web site. Knowing my time was limited in the classroom as far as helping the students set up their blog sites and posting a first blog, I decided to do a screen share podcast to explain everything to them. Hahaha – well, several hours later I had a 3-minute screen shared podcast on setting up the blog site and 2-minute one on posting the first blog.
Following the Chasing Ice movie, I explained the plan with blogging to the students. They seemed remotely interested. Then I referred them to my web site for the podcasts on setting up the blog. With the remaining minute of class a few of the students checked to make sure they could view the videos. One exclaimed, “Did you make this yourself?” When I answered in the affirmative their faces lit up with huge smiles, “That’s cool”, they said. It was clear that they felt honored because I had created a podcast for them. My attempt to be tech-savvy apparently scored some points with my students.
Tonight, after a long day I decided, with scepticism, to take a look at the web sites and the students' first blog posts. I am SO IMPRESSED! It is always amazing how quickly students latch onto a media that will give them voice. The sites are already personalized in appearance and the blog posts are full of detailed reflection, imbedded photos and video clips (all properly referenced!), and are generally interesting and creative. I suddenly am really looking forward to perusing their posts as they get underway with their science fair projects!