Random Thoughts

Student created web sites

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Corporate Slave logo by dreamLogicOur high school digital media class has been creating some great work. Simon May (who will soon have a blog of his own) has done a great job of allowing the students to create their own assignments around digital media.

Early in the year Simon had the students come up with a name for the site and then purchased the domain name. Next they worked in Photoshop to create fliers to put around the school. Eagle Eye View or Eagle i view was born.

The latest development has been the use of the site as a way to give students information on classes as they sign-up for electives next year. What I like is that it is Simon that is interviewing the teachers and posting the podcasts showing that it’s not just students who can and should be producing for the web site.

What if a school had a website that teachers, administrators, and students could all post to? What would happen as Sean has us thinking lately we blurred the lines between teachers and students and had one space that everyone was able to post to. It could be words, video, or audio. What if the school website was a collection of thoughts from all stake holders. Dangerous? For sure! Powerful….maybe.

I love reading web sites created by students. Chris Craft’s students who have created the Teach Jeff Spanish site is another example of how empowering students to create information and knowledge can be a learning experience.

  • Eagle i View is set to teach students about producing quality web content: videos, audios, images.
  • Teach Jeff Spanish is about learning through teaching (what a concept!).

There are so many ways to use the web for learning it comes down to imagination and having the support within your school to make it happen.

[tags]sas, student produced[/tags]

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I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Having a website for any student, teacher or parent to blog on does not seem like a good idea to me. Blogs are good for sharing within the same peer group. If doesn’t seem like a good idea to me because students might loose the structure of having the teachers and administrators as authorities. And if there is a dispute it is a good quality to be able to speak to the person of authority face to face. I think some students would take advantage of it and use it to complain. People are already saying that the upcoming generations are loosing their communication skills between friends and family by texting and AIM. Should we really give them the opportunity to loose real communication with their teachers and authorities?

  2. My Response: As long as there were “moderators” or a way to make sure students were not using the blog to cut up teachers or other students and posts were responsible, I think this would be an awesome way to communicate. Sometimes people, especially students, are too shy to speak up in person. Writing could be a really liberating exercise for these introverts. It would also be a great way for students who were absent to keep in contact about what they missed in class. Again, however, I would just be cautious of the possibility that some students may use this gift irresponsibly. Kids go through enough bullying in person without having to experience it in cyberspace. Could they not use their real names? Could everyone sign some sort of form concerning a compliance with rules for using the site? Also, should it be optional? I agree…it could be dangerous, but it could also be powerful!

  3. So true. I think it would indeed be fantastic to have a common forum where students, teachers, administrators alike can all post their thoughts and comments. An on-line can widen the circle of participation on a topic or an idea, promote potentially deeper thinking, and more fluid communication between the different segments within the school. Also, the appeal of having a common drop-box of ideas is to allow a consistently available arena for one to be heard. There are always things that would be good for different people within a community to voice, but suitable occasions don’t always present themselves, especially in a school environment, where roles are so defined, and schedules timetables set and followed, and there may not be that much “water cooler” moments across the sub-groups. A lack of natural organic encounters between say students and teachers outside instructional environment may also make it harder for students to speak to “power”on certain matters.

    On the order of maintaining a civil forum, I do think having a moderator would be mostly sufficient. This has been frequently and successfully done on all sorts of forums on the web, and amongst individual with a lot less physical connections and real world relationships.

    Another idea for school communities is to have a common wiki project would be great also, maybe something on a cross-generational topic, like comparing the “then” and the “now”, or brainstorm a preferred “future”. They can even loop alumni in as well. This might be a good area to build commemoration activities of say a school’s anniversary, or for honor certain individual that has made a lasting impact on the school community over the years.

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