This past week was a great week in my Grade 2 classroom! We had a much more successful week learning how to add more to our individual student blogs. This week I taught my students how to upload a saved image onto their blog. We are using Edublogs and I found it quite easy to teach my students, step by step how to insert their saved image. Now, since this was a very new territory, I had to do the first few steps on my own. I took a picture of each student reading one of their books from their book bags. Then I saved each image into a file on our school’s “Global” network. My students then only had to log in to their blogs, click “Add Media”, find their image, and upload. I asked them to write 3-5 sentences about the book they are reading. This might sound extremely simple to some of you up there but the student part of this process took almost an hour. If we had no laptop log in complications it would have been less time! I have lucky to have a 3rd year University of Regina pre-intern in my classroom right now doing her three week teaching block, it was extremely helpful to have helping had with this task!
Check out some of my students posts about their books:
I just finished a round of Student Led Conferences with my Grade 2’s and their parents. I am a little embarrassed to state that my students are still using paper portfolios to share their work with their family. George Couros, blogged this week about “The (Nearly) Invisible Portfolio”. George discusses how many portfolios being created in schools are made to be shared with the school, home and teacher – the sharing stops beyond that. He also mentions that when using open digital portfolios, that he believes the student should have the power to decide what work will be shared with the world, not the only teacher. I love this quote that George found by Rushton Hurley.
I would love to try to using digital portfolios in the near future with one of my future classes. I would like to use SeeSaw as my platform instead of Edublogs. SeeSaw seems to be better set up for students to share photos, videos and drawings. This year, with this learning project, I am more focussed on having my students learn to love writing and write for a larger audience and Edublogs has been fine for such.
I love reading about how a fellow classmate, Erin Benjamin, is using SeeSaw with her Grade 2’s to create student blogs and digital portfolios. From the reading I have done, I believe SeeSaw would be more kid friendly than what my class is currently using. SeeSaw has several twitter hashtags started for teachers to follow and learn more from each other about using SeeSaw (#SeeSawchat) This would have been a great way to network with other users. Today I tweeted to @edublogs and @Suewaters asking them if they knew of any great Edublog hashtags I could follow to learn more about using their service and find other teachers to connect with. I have not heard anything yet, but hope to soon!
I enjoyed checking out another ECI831 classmates, Nathan Bromm’s blog this week because he is also using Edublogs to blog with his students. I enjoyed looking at some of his students blogs to see what older elementary students could do using Edublogs. I will show my Grade 2’s this week what they could do on Edublogs once they become better writers!
As a pondered this week whether I chose the best blogging platform for my students, I came across a great comparison chart made by Richard Bryne- Free Technology for Teachers . In his post, 7 Blogging Platforms for Teachers Compared and Ranked, he shares a great chart which compares the features of many popular blogging and digital portfolio platforms. He also summarizes each platform at the end of his post and ranks them. He ranked Edublog #4 and SeeSaw #5. I look forward to becoming more comfortable with Edublog this year and possibly trying out SeeSew next year!
What are your preferences for student blogging platforms?