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Teacher/ Student Weblogs
Describe the technology being used?
The technology is a simple, free educational blog that is internet accessible and gives the teacher control over all editing, set up, and class blogging aspects.
How was the technology integrated into the assessment environment?
The technology gives each student their own personal space to make their own. (via graphics, descriptions, images, backgrounds, and other web designs) allowing them to become familiar with social networking design options, links, transferring and inserting images, researching, and reading other blogs/ web sites critically.
The teacher sets up an administrative role and controls assignments and messages posted on the blogs for each student. As assignments are completed, the instructor reads through the blogs/ comments, and applies a rubric for assignment response. The instructor also has the ability to write comments to the student via their blog, creating a much more thorough and authentic feedback system. (Much more effective, in my opinion, than a simple number grade that students are so used to seeing, registering, and ignoring.)
-What method (observation, selected response, written response, personal communication, performance, student reflection) of assessments were implemented using the technology?
The assessments for this technology can range from simple responses about the main points learned in class that day and commenting on other students posts- to reading collegiate professors blogs, journal articles, viewing animations from textbook or professional sites (USGS.gov for example), or reviewing a film that was watched that day in class.
It can also be for free response, group project communication, or just as a group discussion board around a topic. (I have had a “weirdest science fact” contest every year)
Was this a technology that replaced a current method of assessment or does it provide assessment opportunities previously not available without the advent of this technology. (For an in depth discussion of this, refer to the NAP article)
This allows the instructor to have more methods of assessment, more comment space, and opens up a realm of information for students that most are quite comfortable with. For students that will not write much on paper, they may be willing to sit and write much more- supporting it with images, links, and research that would normally go by the pen and paper wayside.
In your opinion, what were some of the benefits of the tool?
Student comfort, increased technology usage, better information, introduction to web design techniques as well as giving students an outlet for class reflections.
In your opinion, what are the limitations of the tool?
If students do not have internet access at home, they must work harder to make the time to blog. Without clear focus and expectations, students could miss opportunities to further explore topics.
Do you see this as a tool that could be used in your educational setting?
Absolutely! Provided the majority of students have access to blogs throughout their day, or at home.
Where did you learn about the tool (formal evaluation reports, vender case studies, etc.)?
I learned that there are many blog sites out there, but educational tool blogs are much more user friendly, as well as FERPA friendly. It is good for an educator to have control over who is blogging, editing, and content.