Module 2: Creating a Blog / Class Website – Week 2/3
Take a look at this diagram.
We will utilize this framework throughout this semester as a tool to critcally evaluate and consider the benifits and costs of adopting new technologies as teachers. The key questions is will investing time into learning / mastering a new piece of software or hardware improve / deepen student learning.
Example 1: Consider this, a school invests thousands and thousands of dollars so that all of their students can have laptops. After receiving them and using them for a year a survey reveals that most of the students are using the laptops to take notes in class. If this were the case, the laptop is merely being substituted for a paper notebook. If this is the case, was the investment worth it? Is the technology helping students learn more effectively? More deeply?
Example 2: Or how about this one…a school invests thousands and thousands of dollars in interative whiteboards. After one year a survey reveals that they are predominately used to show films during class!
Example 3: A school invests in purchasing a class set of Ipads. Instead of having students write their usual Macbeth essay, an English teacher uses the Ipads and various apps to create a project where students have to interview a Shakespearian actor via skype and build a multimedia presentation to explore the theme of the loss of morality and its contemporary relevance.
Think about Bloom’s Taxonomy here.
Notice with the Macbeth example, student don’t just have to know something, but they are provoked to do something with that knowledge – apply, analyze, create. The technology here (Ipad and Apps) become a mechanism / medium through which new things can be done.
**As a side note, t would be interesting to throw in a little McLuhan here – is it worthwhile to consider how the character of a particular medium may have unintended or non-obvious/ detrimental consequences. We will explore this more explicitly when we look at utilizing Social Networking technology in the classroom. If this interests you check out this brief article “What is the Meaning of the Medium is the Message“?
The priority within the new curriculum, emphases skills and competencies (not just content). While content knowledge is still important, teachers need to support students into being able to develop the abilities at the upper level of Bloom’s – apply, analyze, evaluate, create…
Watch this video: An Example of Inquiry Based Learning
Consider how the video reflects Bloom’s taxonomy.
Now the million dollar question:
How would building a class website, with blogging capability, enhance your teaching?
Here is how UBC is using WordPress – Check it out…
To summarize, the folks at UBC are using WordPress:
i) Using it as a textbook
ii) Self Assessment of knowledge (quizes embedded into textbook).
iii) Make content editable by students – like a wiki.
iv) Post video of lectures / flip classrooms
v) Blogs – Students can post work, information sharing, discuss, student can contribute to conversation, ongoing learning community.
vi) Student can create and upload learning ‘objects’
vii) Use it as an E-portfolio – students can create their own sites and can be linked together. Student can have control of their own content and then inform the instruction from the teacher.
viii) Support peer review, peer assessment.
Your Actual Task – Create Your Own Website / Blog Using Word Press
- Sign up for a Word Press account at WordPress.com.
- Choose a design template
- Create pages (and links in the menu) for your blog – Reading Responses, Module Tasks, About Me
- Populate your about me page with a photo, video and some text.
The two labs over the next two weeks will be devoted to creating this site.
There are many many online tutorials to help you. I can also provide support during the lab time.
Here are some online resources: