Things are progressing in my building of a student learning network here at Winston Knoll Collegiate. The past two days have been spent with my first group of grade 10 art students activating their Google Apps for Education accounts, familiarizing themselves with everything Google and creating their first blog.
The main goal here is to create a place where students can display work and reflect upon their experiences. Until now they have used a sketchbook to do this type of activity. I want to move students into a more collaborative space in their learning. Students will now have the ability to look at each other's blogs and post comments on their classmates work. This will be done after teaching students how to objectively critique artwork.
Students that have a mobile device (almost every one of my students has one) will be able to contribute to their blogs and make comments on the blogs of their classmates using their own technology. My goal is to have them do their first critique next week after they have set up their blogs, become familiar with posting and commenting. To begin with commenting on the blogs I'm going to have each student post three or more compliments on other student's work on their blogs. I think this type of atmosphere will help to encourage positive and objective critiquing in the future.
These individual blogs will be worked into true learning portfolios. The blog portion will be used for assignment submission and reflection. Other sections will include research, brainstorming and planning for projects.
All of the student blogs will be linked from a central blog. This central also has a course calendar, assignments, photos from the classroom and an integrated twitter feed that students can post to by using a specific hashtag. We tried using the twitter feature today and it was a lot of fun. Our philosophy will be developed collaboratively by all students and I intend to use a Google Doc to do this. An embedded Google doc will also allow us to compile blog addresses and links of interest.
It's exciting. Students seem to be motivated and interested in using their hand held devices in a new and interesting way. I will be providing links to the central blog when we have more content added in and the blog has been customized.... I'm thinking of having the class collaborate on that part too!
If you have any ideas or suggestions, feel free to let me know!