As I work on my own homework, I am taking a few minutes to check on some of the projects that students have been working on - primarily the middle school students and their classroom blogs.
So far, they look great and I am excited to see that some of the students have taken time outside of class to personalize their pages to reflect their personalities. Love it! Not only does this tell me that they are excited to work on this project, but that they were listening to (and able to retain) the instructions I gave them in class on how to design their pages.
I know that web design doesn't require as much know-how today as it did at the inception of page design...today we just have to drag and drop the elements that we want to include, no coding knowledge required. However I think it is safe to say that none of the students have any real experience with this type of work and they are doing an amazing job so far.
But in looking at the projects, it reminds me that the students have been raised in a culture where nothing is really secret any more. Students are ready to share their email addresses and other information about themselves. Our students have grown up in a culture of oversharing.
So this week, even though these blogs will never be shared with the public, we will talk about online safety as well as Internet etiquette. In a world where we tweet, snap, and Facebook our lives, it is important to realize that sometimes (almost always) less is best when it comes to cultivating your online profile.
As always, I realize that all families are different when it comes to where their comfort level is when it comes to students being online. I work hard to make sure student information is as protected as possible and always encourage students to privatize information on any social media platform they are a part of. Also, I will never require your student to create a public profile on any media platform- so if they come home saying they have to create a public website please know that they don't. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Students in grades 7 & 8 are taking the digital world by storm and are working in small online communities to create small blogs that allow them to share their writing and give feedback in real time.
The first assignment that 8th grade students are working on is a fractured fairy tale. With this assignment they pick at an original fairy tale and identify a new narrator, giving the story a different perspective. Once they have identified a new narrator and his/her traits, they start retelling the major events from that new perspective to get the "true" story of what happened.
One example of a fractured fairy tale is The TRUE Story of the Three Little Pigs as told by A. Wolf.
7th graders are exploring short stories. Their assignments will be focused on journal entries that respond to various stories and discussions in the classroom. Students will be expected to share their thoughts and give constructive comments on each other's entries.
All websites are password protected and are moderated through our classroom site.