For our course prototype we plan to use WordPress Blog to organize class materials, KidBlog for students to be blogging during their reading journey, Postermywall/ Adobe Spark to present some assignments, and YoTeach as an online discussions forum. Below is an overview of the different formats we have chosen. Underneath the description I will describe why we chose these.
WordPress Blog – https://onlineunit.home.blog/
This is where all of the student assignments will be posted. We chose this for simplicity sake. We are all familiar with Google Classroom, therefore we wanted to challenge ourselves to use a different format and this way we could view everything in a linear fashion.
KidBlog –Each week, students will be required to complete several questions based on reading strategies and they will publish their answers to their blogs. Kidblog provides K-12 teachers with tools to safely publish student writing. Teachers can monitor all activity within a community of authors. Posts can even be public, but nothing goes live until a teacher approves it. Kidblog empowers students to write with a meaningful purpose for a real audience. Connect with other classes down the hallway, across your district, or around the world. Students practice digital citizenship within a secure environment. KidBlog is a new resource we have not accessed so we wanted to use something that was safe, free, and easily accessible for our students.
In some weeks, students have a choice on how they want to represent their creative component. They can use postermywall to design a poster related to their novel and assignment. For example, creating a poster that demonstrates why kindness matters. We chose postermywall which is an online program, which is free, has appropriate content and it is able to be shared with home easily. Below are more ideas the website provides:
- Create projects to organize designs created by students.
- Students are not required to create an account.
- Students see only student appropriate content.
- Students’ projects are never made public.
- No ads.
- Completely free to teachers. We believe in supporting our schools. You can help keep it free by sharing a link to PosterMyWall.com with your parents. Their purchases help to fund the PosterMyWall.com Classroom Accounts Program.
YoTeach— A set time for each week has been designated. The teacher in charge of each novel will invite students to the group chat to respond to questions in real time. Students will discuss a series of per-compiled questions and dialogue with other member of their group about their assigned novel. This gives the students a weekly opportunity to connect on a weekly bases. Yo Teach! lets you create online backchannel spaces to facilitate discussions. To get started on Yo Teach! simply go to the site and name your room. You can get started by just doing those two steps, but I would recommend taking a another minute to scroll down the Yo Teach! site to activate the admin function, the password function, and to select “avoid search.” The “avoid search” option will hide your room from search results so that people cannot find it without being given its direct URL. The password function lets you set a password that must be entered before students can participate in the chat. The admin features of Yo Teach! let you mute or remove students from a discussion, delete your room, and view statistic about the usage of your room. The admin function that reveals statistics will show the names of participants and how active they have been in your Yo Teach! Room.
Adobe Spark — Each week students are required to complete a creative component. An example would be having students use Adobe Spark to create a post with the key quote (or quotes) from your novel. The background must represent you think the setting of your story looks like.
- Graphics: Pick a photo, add text, and apply design filters to instantly stand out from the crowd.
- Webpages: Turn words and images into beautiful, magazine-style web stories that will impress readers on any device.
- Video Stories: easily add photos, video clips, icons, or you own voice. Select from professional-quality soundtracks and cinematic motion.
Overall we thought we could challenge ourselves to use new programs we were not familiar with and we enjoyed discovering them along the way!