I’ve been asked by students and a couple of parents – “why are we blogging in science class?”
There are several reasons:
In my experience, students do not value paper. They see any work done on paper as disposable – worth little more than the paper itself. Paper assignments are constantly left laying around my room – from my class and from others – even work that has not yet been turned in!
We go through WAY too much paper in schools – nearly all of which ends up in the trash – wasting money and natural resources
Reflection for learning
I want students to reflect on their learning.
In my opinion (supported by educational research), students retain much more of their learning if they take the time to reflect on it. This means thinking back on what they learned and why it is important and/or valuable. This means evaluating the quality of their work and their level of effort. It also means setting goals for future learning experiences!
Public nature of blogs
Students’ work on their blogs is public – visible to the world. This raises the value of the work because it will not only be seen by their teacher. Already my students have received comments and feedback from teachers around the country and from fellow students in Minden, Louisiana. Parents and peers can also view the work and leave comments.
Creation of an electronic portfolio
Students in my classes are creating a year-long digital portfolio of their work. At the end of the year, they will be able to look back on what they’ve done and reflect on how much they have learned. They should be able to see evidence of their learning and their growth.
At the end of each semester, I plan to have my students compile some examples of their best work to post to their blog and reflect on. This will be part of the final semester assessment in my class.
I have found this year that students are MUCH more willing to revise and improve work that has been done electronically. Handwritten assignments that must be completely rewritten are rarely revised – even if the student is not happy with his/her grade! It’s just too much work in their eyes to rewrite the whole thing!
This is the world that we live in!
The world that we live in – that my students have grown up in – is digital!
This is what they know and, more importantly, this is what their future lives will center around. I am doing my part to help to prepare them for that world – as a student, as a future employee, and as a citizen