E.C.& I. 831 Major Digital Project Underway.

My major digital project is starting to take form as I am now beginning to find meaning and many uses for some of the technologies that we have discussed thus far in the course.   I have set up a WordPress blog for the courses that I am currently teaching.  This weblog is intended to serve many purposes.  Perhaps most importantly it is intended to host information, due dates, handouts, that are publically available to students, parents, and even other teachers.  I suppose that makes this an educational resourse website, but it’s more than that, it’s also a collection of course blogs, and collections of educational links, videos, etc. 

By default, WordPress allows you to post blog posts only to the main page.  This doesn’t quite work for what I need.  Right now,  I am in the process of modifying the site’s code, so that I can post blog posts to each of the pages.  I have a page created for each of the courses I am teaching right now.  I hope to be able to post updates to each page at least a couple of times a week.  This will help students keep track of assignments and due dates. 

Another important part of this project is to keep parents/guardians informed as well.  I have sent home consent forms with each of my students in order for me to compile a list of e-mails of parents/guardians.  Once my list is compiled, I will send out e-mails to parents periodically to view the web-site and review expectations and assignments.   

As an Art/English/Computer teacher, I find that a project like this will also be a perfect place to publish completed student works.  A blog format is perfect for this as it allows for comments and feedback to be given to the students from a large (possibly global) arena.  This should help to encourage students to submit high quality works, and should allow them to receive more and perhaps better feedback on their work.  I am also thinking about teaming up with other classes or communities through which students will read / view and comment on each other’s work. 

I have links to many collections of on-line videos that I use in my classes.  I am looking into linking to my YouTube account playlists as my collections are getting rather large.  These resources allow students to view videos from home, perhaps more than once.  It also allows parents to view videos like the Frontline documentary “Growing up On-line” that I watched with my Info Pro 10 students.  Perhaps this will open some dialogue between parents/students and in the classroom as well. 

The site – in it’s early form – can be viewed at:  http://rflood.wordpress.com/

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