September 21, 2011

Digital Portfolios With KidBlog.Org

This year I'm trying something new - digital portfolios. I've chosen as our platform because it doesn't require student emails. They also allowed my school district to set up a secure account so that we can follow our district safety guidelines.
My goal for the year is for students to post their thinking in each subject area (reading, math, science, social studies) at least once per quarter. This will allow us to have a record of learning, thinking, and writing as it changes over the year. Students will also read one another's work and post comments.

My Mini-Mizer Avatar
Using a blog for these portfolios kills two birds with one stone because it will allow students to develop social media skills in addition to storing exemplars of student work. These social media skills include:
* Internet safety - screen name and avatar creation
* Formatting posts
* Inserting images, links, and other media
* Posting comments
* Comments as discussion

Tomorrow will be our first foray into the blogosphere. I hope to accomplish the following:
Create safe screen names - Students will use two websites to generate ideas. Username Generator uses categories to create random word combinations. Spinxo uses student interests to suggest screen names. Students may use a username from one of these sites, or create one of their own. The important thing is to choose a name that protects student identity.
Publish an About Me post - This post must not reveal any identifying information such as name, age, or location. Students will use my About Me post as a model.
Create and save avatar - Use Mini-Mizer or Build Yourself Wild to create an avatar. Avatars are another essential tool for protecting identity. Unfortunately, neither of these sites provides an easy way for students to save their avatars as images. We will use the Print Screen function to do this.
My Wild Self Avatar
 Insert avatar into the About Me post - We probably won't have time for this in the first blogging lesson, but the avatars will need to be posted with About Me as soon as possible.

I'm looking forward to using KidBlog to keep digital portfolios! You can see our class blog site by clicking here.

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