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!