After 3 years I still feel that the blogging platform is one of the best web-based portfolios tools available to schools…and now kids are thinking so as well. We’ve only really been using the blogs in our high school the last two years with this year more classes using them for student reflection and meaningful research. One of our seniors recently wrote this as part of his reflection in his senior seminar class:
This year in Mrs. Corning’s Senior Seminar class, blogging was a very important part of the criterion. Since I already knew how to navigate through my own blog, I was able to successfully update my reflections and to astutely deal with any electronic errors that occurred while I was on my blog. The video posting posed a new challenge, though, but I greatly enjoyed filming it and sharing my own video with my peers. Whenever I scan through my blog, I feel a great sense of accomplishment as I review my past assignments. In a way, my blog acts as a time machine as I am able to instantly view my work from the past two years. It is satisfying to examine my growth as a person and as a writer whenever I compare two different works from varying time periods in the latter of my high school career. I believe that schools all around the world will soon adopt the use of blogs due to their convenience and practicality, especially when educating students on a global level. Through blogs, I can exhibit my writing to people all over the world, and I am also able to learn from other student’s blogs.
Here at ISB we’re in our 3rd year of using blogs as web-based portfolios. You can learn about our approach and setup in the free PDF I created and that can be downloaded from the sidebar of this blog.
It excites me to see that the students are starting to understand what the blogs purpose is. Having a space to be able to call your own, create your own content, and from time to time do an assignment gives the kids the autonomy, purpose and ability to master they need to be motivated (all three of which are mentioned above).
It’s not perfect…we’re still, as a school, defining the blogs use. What school work should go on the blog if any, how to grade it…if it should be graded, and a lot of other logistical stuff.
But in the meantime, kids are blogging, creating content about what they’re learning, what they’re interested in, and doing it because we provided them a place to do that in. I have no doubt that we’ll figure out how to use these better as a school for learning. But sometimes you just got to throw the tool out there, start using it, and figure out the rest as you go.
Maybe this is why I like technology and the time period we’re in right now. Everything is always in beta.