This is the second installment of my “student blogs of the week.” What follows is a hand-picked set of my student’s blog posts that I think are great examples of the learning that is happening in my classes this past week. I’ve chosen them for their content, style, and the tools they use.
This weeks anatomy and physiology posts worth viewing are from Nikki who fought with GoogleDocs and won. She created posts on directional terms and homeostasis which show how easy it is to share GoogleDocs through a blog platform (once you get GoogleDocs up and running). I think I’ve convinced her to skip creating documents in Word and go straight for GoogleDocs next time.
Several excellent biology posts were created this week including this one by Ali, who discusses the properties of water using a combination of text, Sliderocket, and Wordle. Another interesting water properties-related post from Kelsea included this PhotoShow that she made from images she captured and annotated using Jing. Tyler and Seth both tackle the water properties content with some Xtranormal dialogs worth seeing.
Chemistry students got positively self-reflective about their week in their latest blog posts including great ones from Kiel and Isaac. Andre, one of our foreign exchange students, got tired of fighting with his Blogger account and was willing to try hosting his blog on our local MacServer. You can see his excellent reflective post here.
So far I’ve been very impressed with how easy it is to determine if a student is learning something by reading their blog posts. Sure, some students are still at the stage of typing definitions into web2.0 tools and making artifacts that don’t speak too much to their understanding, but I’ve seen a progression in some already who can move past the definitions of terms to the broader concepts that I want them to focus on. That’s where the whole standards-based grading system shines: kids that are stuck on definitions at first can come around later to produce artifacts that show deeper understanding once they achieve it without a permanent penalty to their grade.
As always, feel free to comment on these and any other of my students’ blogs, they will surely appreciate it.