At an in-school professional development day, I found myself helping teachers realise the potential of creating their own classroom websites. Throughout my journey of making my website using wix.com and exploring weebly.com I came across the fabulous weebly for education possibilities.
Two weeks later and all of my Yr 5 students are busy working on content for their own, individual and quite personalised individual website, including my student with special needs who works from an IEP (individual education plan). As their weebly education accounts only permit publishing 5 pages, I decided to give 5G these page guidelines;
About Me Page
School Projects Page
Media Gallery Page
So far they've each recorded a brief video introduction to be uploaded to our class Youtube account that they can then post on their own Home Page. I've showed them how to make columns, edit text, change templates, add and edit photos and upload content. They are having a marvellous time.
If student engagement is the goal, check.
If incorporating digital devices and technology is the goal, check.
If personal creativity is the goal, check.
If 21st century learning is the goal, check.
If problem solving is the goal, check.
While I've password protected their accounts so the general public isn't able to view their sites, when we are ready we will be sharing our sites within our school community and I will be asking my students to reflect on the process of establishing and maintaining their sites. As a website publisher myself, there has been much I have had to learn, overcome and troubleshoot along the way - and these skills are the ones I believe will be necessary for these young students to be able to navigate in the future, especially with the developing technologies and the types of jobs and roles they will be expected to perform.
The cool part? It's free.
The cooler part? They are continually learning and expressing their learning articulately.
The coolest part? They're loving it.
This is why I chose to teach. To facilitate independent journeys of expression. As a fiercely independent soul, I cannot wait to see how they showcase their personal learning across all of our subject areas, overcome issues and solve each others problems. I'm looking forward to sharing this learning journey with educators because I think sometimes, not always, but sometimes...we just get it right.