Saturday, July 23, 2011

Blogging: Assessment and Learning

My students blog.  Going to a computer to write a post was a regular occurrence last year;  often students worked on them at home "just because"!

Adding various audiovisual clips was something many undertook to enhance their piece.

Quite a few were able to use hyperlinks to connect other useful and interesting sites to their posts.

All of them provided feedback to each other and responded to the comments received, carrying on a enthusiastic conversation with other readers in other parts of the world.  In addition to their individual blogs, the kids collaborated on posts about topics of mutual interest (or just to share the 'work'!)

As the year went on and we became more comfortable with how and what to do, we had a discussion about how blogging fit in our 'photo album' approach to assessment:

~Not everything they do has to go in the album
~They have some say in choosing items to be considered for the album
~Some blurry 'shots' can be removed from the album
~Over time growth should be evident
~Sometimes pictures get taken that you don't necessarily want to be 'in' but you try to give your best 'smile'!]

By the end of the first term (September to November here) my kids are used to thinking about assessment in three ways:

When Teachers Cheat?

I was appalled when I picked up on the headlines that have blazed across the front pages of so many American newspapers recently.

Over 30 schools in New Jersey are being investigated because an unusually high number of answers were erased and corrected.  An ultimatum has been issued to teachers in Atlanta to resign or be fired over testing improprieties.

WHY would teachers cheat?  What could possibly be behind such unethical decision-making?  Why would so many risk their jobs?

I'm not condoning the choices made by these teachers and the principals involved but...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quick post about Quad-blogging

Not so long ago I was skimming my Twitter ( skimming 'because I was supposed to working on a grad course paper and having a quick look was my treat to myself!) and I noticed a post about blogging...which is coincidentally the thrust of my research! (more on that later perhaps).

It was a ReTweet ( RT ) ...about a variation of blogging called QUADblogging!  Coming from @coolcatteacher I knew it was worth having a look! : )

I immediately realized it had an added dimension that would build on the experience of blogging for my students.  I like to try something new each year!

In this activity, you sign up to be part of a group of four schools. For a week at a time, each school's class blog(s) will be the  center of attention!