For assessment task one, I have chosen to further explore blogging, and more specifically Weebly, as a tool for high level pedagogy in the classroom. The reasons I have selected blogging as opposed to Wikis are found here in a former introductory post. To further justify my selection, I will explore the technical features required of learners to create and maintain their own personal blogs, and interact with teacher-created blog pages. I will explore how blogging can be utilised at each level of the SAMR model and give examples of how the use of this technology can be of benefit in my teaching units, senior biology and health education. The legal, ethical and safety considerations will also be discussed with regards to protecting the privacy of students and meeting the confidentiality requirement set out by Education Queensland .
Creating & Editing
Despite my initial opinions of creating a Weebly account, the more I've used the page and explored its editing capacity and technical features, the more I appreciate just how elaborate a page such as this can be. I admit, I used pages and forums like that of below to quickly work out what I was doing wrong (and avoid having an oversize picture move all of my text to weird and wonderful places).
Students asked to create Weebly pages as part of the course content or for assessment purposes, require only basic word processing and internet explorer skills. With step by step instructions, and by use of beginner instructional videos like that shown below, I do not anticipate students struggling with creativity. In fact I believe they would thrive at the opportunity to showcase their individuality and resourcefulness.
Authors & Privacy
Upgrading from the basic version of Weebly to the "Pro" version allows for the application of multiple editors within the site. The pro version allows for one or more administrators to be selected and in turn authorises the level of editing allowed per member. Additionally, the advancement allows for 'teacher only' pages to be created, and by password protection, limits what the students can and can't see. Teacher only forums would be beneficial in sharing resources and discussing student progression and achievement. Such features also protect the privacy of the students. One Weebly page could be used for the entire year 10 science cohort however only classroom teachers have access to their particular student outcomes.
SAMR & Blogging
An earlier blog introduces SAMR model. The model provides a scaffold for educators to incorporate ICT in the classroom and encourages teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences to increase engagement and high order thinking by students (Schrock, 2017). It also shows how the use of ICTs can be used at each SAMR level. In the practical, students were asked to upload their results to a database accessible to all students. Alternatively, an interactive science blog similar to the one below could be used as an interactive platform for learning. Students would be able to access their online learning space which would be customised to meet the academic requirements of the subject. They would be able to collaborate through educator monitored comments by their peers and in turn receive feedback regarding their work or ideas. The advanced technical features of blogging allow for embedding and linking of relevant resources, case studies, media presentations and classroom news by the administrator/teacher.
Legal, Ethical & Safety Considerations
There are legal, ethical and safety considerations to take into account when using an online learning tool such as a blog. The classroom teacher must monitor all posts and comments by students to ensure they are appropriate, constructive and relevant to the task at hand. The Department of Education and Training have strict guidelines in place to protect the privacy of students, like those displayed on the website of the school I currently work at, Innisfail State College. Consent for personal information or photographs to be displayed on the classroom accessible Weebly page, would need to be gained in writing by the parent or guardian of the student.
Collins, R. (2014). Skills for the 21st Century: teaching higher-order thinking, Curriculum & Leadership Journal, 12(14), 1-2.
The State of Queensland (Department of Education and Training), (2017). Using communication technologies. Retrieved 28 March, 2017, from http://education.qld.gov.au/actsmartbesafe/students/technology/using-ct.html