Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Power of Students Publishing Online

There is one major moment that every teacher loves to experience as often as possible- the look on a student's face when they finally "get it". The way their eyes light up is probably what drives a lot of us to keep at it over the years and inspires us to reach students in new ways.

Over the years, I've been lucky enough to have seen that look many times. But today and for the next four weeks, I'd like to introduce you to another big moment that you may have been missing out on in your classroom- the look on a student's face when they realize that work they have published online has been read and appreciated by someone in their now-worldwide audience. Whether it's another teacher, a parent, a community member, or someone from another part of the world, once a student comes to the realization that someone out there is looking at and appreciating their work the effects on their motivation are as priceless as their surprised faces!

This is the power of publishing student work online- your students begin producing authentic work for an authentic, interactive audience. It's this second part, the interactive, that pushes this type of publication ahead as a must for your classroom. Because publishing online also means allowing the public to view and, yes, comment on their work. This leads to students striving to be responsive to their audience's feedback, justify choices, and in short- produce better work.

There are many excellent digital tools available to allow students the opportunity to publish online (many are found in my book, Digital Tools for Teaching!). For the next four weeks, every Tuesday, I am going to focus on four specific tools that can help you organize and manage your students' online work: KidBlog, Weebly, Wikis, and Mahara. Every one of these tools are free, easy to use, and easy to monitor and moderate.

I'm looking forward to sharing these powerful ways to impact your students in new, exciting, engaging ways!


Mr. MacKnight said...

We had an exciting moment last year in Gr. 9 when an author found a review of his book on our blog and left a comment ;^ ).

But the power of publishing online has much more, I think, to do with students writing for each other, reading each other's work, commenting on it, being inspired and challenged by it. The class becomes a community of learners, and the synergy is wonderful to watch.

edtechsteve said...

@Mr. MacKnight-

Completely agree, and thanks for adding that. Becoming a better commenter is just as important as becoming a better writer because it makes students (and all of us) more critical and constructive.

And that's excellent that an author found their way to your blog. So powerful.