The new age of resumes and portfolios is a website. With social sites like LinkedIn.com and Twitter, students need to be aware of the power of the web. Building a website has become a matter of dragging and dropping. Coding and HTML knowledge are not necessary; although, knowledge in those areas give a student a healthy advantage. It is best to start small, but get your students moving on the right path with one of these web creation tools.
Since Palm Springs Unified already makes use of the Google domain, why not use Google sites? Since students will be creating and storing their documents, presentation, and spreadsheets on their Google drive, it is simply a matter of drag and drop or copy/paste for students to display their work. Google sites also quickly embeds materials that students may have created on other sites, such as VoiceThread or Animoto. This makes Google sites a simple solution to portfolios and resumes. It's the perfect format for students to present themselves to future employees.
Weebly is yet another solution to this dilemma. This site is incredibly easy to use. It's just a matter of drag and drop as well as copy/paste. Weebly also has the added benefit of creating a url that is relatively easy to remember. An example would be "studentnameportfolio.weebly.com." Furthermore, students can continue to add to their portfolio as they continue through school and add throughout their scholastic career. As we outlined last week, blogging is a great way to address common core writing requirements. Weebly offers an easy way to get started with blogging. Watch the tutorial below and see if it is something that would benefit your students.
Common Core Connection
Common Core requires students to know the 4 C's: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Having students create an online portfolio that addresses these requirements is an effective approach. When students incorporate all of the tools that you use in your classroom, they have evidence of the 4 C's.
Finding the right Learning Management System (LMS) for your students' needs
A learning management system allows teachers to develop structured online or blended courses for their students. With the new year already in full swing, a super long to do list, and achy feet from standing all day, the last question on your mind is, " What LMS should I use in my class?" Establishing an LMS should be part of every teacher's tech toolbox. Implementing an LMS at the beginning of the year sets up class norms that will last all year. Some systems require passwords and log in codes. So which LMS is right for your class? Read on and find out what we like in our classes.
Edmodo is one of the longest standing learning management systems around. Edmodo has done a great job of remaining relevant by updating their interface and including new features with each new update.
We really like Edmodo because it is self contained. added to that, there are many privacy settings and filters for students. Edmodo has also included educational apps that can be used inside of Edmodo.com. When a teacher creates groups for each class, they can link up with other groups, other subject areas, or another class around the world. Edmodo also allows for teachers to embed HTML code inside each post. This means it can be a one stop shop for all assignments. Did we mention it also has a built in grade book? Although not integrated into Synergy, it works great. Students can take tests inside the platform, and both teacher and student get instant feedback. Finally, Edmodo offers a parent connect where parents can track their child's progress.
Although Edmodo offers great features, there are some drawbacks. Mainly, the setup takes a little bit of time. It is not a deal-breaker by any means, but it will require students to remember codes for their group. Students must create a password, which can be reset when forgotten.
All in all, Edmodo.com and the Edmodo app, which is available for Android and iOS, is a wonderful LMS for anyone. If you have never used an LMS this would be a great place to start as you venture into the world of learning management systems.
Edmodo for Android
Edmodo for iOS
Haiku Learning at Palm Springs USD is a K-12 learning management system that allows teachers to develop structured online or blended courses for their students.
There are several reasons why we love Haiku Learning. The first is that it is integrated with PSUSD's student information system so all your courses are already created and your roster of students is updated regularly and associated with your class. Integration with PSUSD also makes logging in simple. You and your students just use your psusd login and password and you are in!
Another feature that appeals is the course design has a definite structure that is helps to make it easy for students to navigate, but it is still highly customizable. Course development is intuitively easy and customizable with a drag-drop interface that includes a wide range of web 2.0 tools, widgets, and media that can be embedded. Once you have a course developed, you will probably want to be able to duplicate it and share it. Easy! Again, with the drag-drop interface you can just select where you want to put content and it will easily move or copy. You can even share the content with your fellow teachers. Finally another anoth
Since keeping students involved is everything, interactive tools built into the system include polls, surveys, calendars, discussion boards, and even wikispaces that you can use to facilitate individual or group work on projects. In addition, the course has a full grade book with the ability to give feedback comments back to your students just in time.
Finally, one additional feature we appreciate is that you can control when the content and course is active. With just a click you can make it active or inactive so it only appears as you want the student to view it.
Having given you all of these reasons to love Haiku Learning, there are cautions. First, you do have to log in. While it is easy to do, it is not possible to for students to just be able to go to your site and pull up content without logging in. The other caution is that while the system is integrated with the grade book does not interface wit
Weebly is technically a free web page building tool. To build a page, simply drag and drop the elements you want to include and add your content. Because it is so versatile, it can be used to organize content for your students.
Customization is user friendly. You can create assignments and upload attachments. Forms can be used for multiple choice testing. Students can create blog pages to publish their writing. Video can be added for commenting. Almost anything found on the web can be embedded on this site using HTML code.
Webpages can be password protected making them secure for your students. Since there is no advertising, students can and should use Weebly as an electronic portfolio. Teachers can manage up to forty student webpages on their account.
Unfortunately, Weebly does not incorporate a grade book or a drop box for student assignments. Weebly does not give your students space to collaborate, so you might want to couple this Web 2.0 tool with Google Docs. Since Weebly is a free site for educators and extremely user friendly, we would say it is still a good tool to use with your students!