Works for staff meetings, content area meetings, coaching sessions, and individual learning
Allows exemplary practices to be shown as models
Great for mentor teachers
Provides a common language and strong forum for site-based high-level discussions
Allows users to proceed at their own pace through content of relevance to them
Offers links to other resources
– Four-year perfromance portfolios
– Reader response logs
– Writing feedback logs
– Professional portfolios (which will be something I will be trying in my teacher portfolio seminars next year.)
– Departmental portfolios (wouldn’t it be cool to do a Best Practices weblog by department or school?)
– Staff weblog for the discussion of schoolwide issues
– Community weblogs involving parents and residents
– Student newspapers, potentially for each class
– Learning journals
– Classroom management/homepages
– Student/mentor collaborations
– I-search projects
– Team problem solving
– Class/group magazine
– Content area portal (say Sports Talk) etc.
– News filters for particular content areas
– Book chats (group/class)
– Collaborations with professionals
– Biographical sketches
– Notes from class, or summaries
– Collaborative research papers
– A reading group for parents who want to discuss a book their kids are reading in class.
- A digital daily agenda for the school library, linking the lab home page to varying and easily updated teacher projects.
- A individualized librarian’s tool box.
- A school resource center for online research – free and proprietary.
- An interactive place for student and teacher comment and suggestion about the library and its collections.
- A student-run student newspaper. (With a new template coming within days.)
- A teacher controlled space for student resource gathering, reading, notetaking, drafting, and publication of research.
- A collaborative workspace for school and public librarians.
- A collaborative workspace for staff development directed at teachers and school and public librarians.
- A training tool for teaching the integration of writing and technology.
- A teacher inquiry community directed at classroom practitioners supported by the Bay Area Writing Project and the National Writing Project.
- A publication vehicle for teacher writing.
- A replacement for e-mail and discussion boards.
- A collaborative space for refinement of Website design and functionality.
- A tech-skeptical teacher’s reflective journal.
From John Robb:
There are over 1,000 schools worldwide (Caltech, Berkeley, Harvard, Dartmouth,Innsbruck, Vanderbilt, Cambridge, Iowa, Middlebury, Washington, Nebraska Public Schools, Denver Public Schools, and many more) using UserLand’s Manila (mainly due to its broad feature-set, easy set-up, scalability, and low cost — a single $299 server license can support 500 or more full featured weblogs). As a result of this widespread adoption, I get to spend a lot of time talking to
educators about how best to use K-Logs within an educational context.
A new and exciting area of development that I have been talking to educators about is the student managed electronic portfolio. This is a website that documents everything a student accomplished while at school in electronic form. These portfolios include original writing, links to resources, documents (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), pictures, audio files, and video files. It seems to me that this is a perfect application of K-Logs in education. Here’s why:
1) The construction of an electronic portfolio is a structured rogram. This makes it very easy to identify what material needs to be posted and when it should be posted. This eliminates the writer’s block that impedes the development of some educational K-Log efforts.
2) A K-Log’s built-in time organization makes it easy to develop and maintain a portfolio over an entire academic career. This would allow students and teachers (or parents and teachers in conference) to review progression over a month, semester, or year.
3) K-Logging tools support point and click posting of pictures, documents, audio, and video files. Further, students can assign real world names to these files to allow them to quickly re-publish them at a later date if warranted (for example: all you need to do to include a photo in a weblog is type the name of picture in double quotes and hit “publish.” The picture would auto-magically appear formatted in the post.)
4) K-Logging tools make it easy to move a site from one location to another. For example, a copy of a 7-8th grade portfolio can easily be moved to the high school’s Manila server to allow the student (and readers) continuity.
5) A portfolio published as a K-Log is automatically syndicated as a newsfeed. This makes it easy for a parent to subscribe to their children’s portfolio with their newsreader of choice (like Radio). So, in this case I could get news headlines from the NYTimes along with updates on what my kids have been doing at school. Nice.
Personally, I think its great that schools are starting to do this. The early establishment of the habit of documenting work online is going to be something that will pay dividends throughout life. This is an important step on the road to a knowledge sharing culture.