Two weeks ago, I studied the NETS-T standards and decided that I need to improve on Indicator 1C, which states that teachers should Promote student reflection using collaborative tools (International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE], 2008). I know this is an important part of teaching and instruction. Reflection allows students to process and clarify the new knowledge and/or skills (International Society for Technology in Education [ISTE], 2008).
Because school is almost out (4 days!), I have been thinking about how I can incorporate reflection into my teaching next year. Next year, I will have access to laptops, iPads, and the computer lab on a regular basis. Because of this, I think I want to use blogging for student reflection. I currently use kidblog.org and I think this platform will be a good fit for this goal. First, it is easy for students to use. Even my students who do not have a computer at home became experts at using Kidblog after just a few tutorial sessions. Also, it is a secure site. You have to have a password to access any content on any blog, so my students will be safe from scammers and inappropriate content. Last, blogs are interactive. My students and I will be able to comment on others’ entries and ask questions to help encourage deeper thinking,
I have been “experimenting” with reflection activities with. Y current students. Last week I mentioned that I wanted to try VoiceThread. My students recently finished book units. I had them choose their best assignment and worst assignment from the unit. They then took a picture of each and recorded their thoughts on why each piece was either the worst or the best. You can view examples here and here.
While my students enjoyed doing the VoiceThreads, it took a lot of direction on my part. I’m sure they would be able to do it independently with more practice, but with time at a premium, I think blogs are quicker, easier to use, and just as engaging (honestly, hand a kid an iPad everything becomes engaging!). As of right now, I think I am going to pursue the blog avenue.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/Libraries/PDFs/NETS_for_Teachers_2008_EN.sflb.ashx