Common Core Anchor Standards
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
As we are all gearing up to go back to school, what are some ways we can start the year off right to ensure that we are incorporating technology and the Common Core Standards? The writing strand asks students to produce writing for a variety of tasks and purposes. What better way to motivate your students and meet this standard than by providing them with a variety of audiences? The internet has opened doors for classrooms that did not exist 20 years ago. Today, our classrooms can connect with others down the hall, down the street, and even across the ocean. As we are asking students to work on the skills that will help them become Global Citizens, why not have them practice being Global Citizens as well!
Each of the tools presented below can be adapted as a platform where students can showcase the work they do in your classroom, including writing narratives, arguments and informative texts, and conducting and presenting results from research. The possibilities are endless with Web 2.0 tools. Have students build an ePortfolio throughout the year of their work, and reflect on how they are meeting the Common Core Standards!
Blogs are a platform that allow students to make periodic entries on their own pages. They tend to be organized chronologically and by tags. One advantage to using Blogs is that those who visit the pages can contribute by way of comments, drawing your students into meaningful exchanges with their readers. There are several Blog hosts that make blogging with your students easy. Below are three, but there are many more options available to you!
Edublogs - Edublogs is a blogging platform geared specifically toward education and powered by WordPress. They provide a safe and secure platform for your students with no ads or inappropriate content. Students can create individual blogs, or you can create a classroom blog where all students contribute to the same page. They have both free and paid versions available.
Blogger - Blogger is Google’s blogging platform that is included in Google Apps for Edu. If you are a GAFE school, turning on and using Blogger is a snap. No need to create new usernames and passwords, because students use the same credentials they do for GAFE. Similar to EduBlogs, Blogger allows the creation of individual and shared blogs for your classroom. Blogger is always free.
Kidblog - KidBlogs is specifically designed for K-12 education, and allow teachers complete control over the blogs and users they create. Setup is easy, no email accounts required, and always ad free. Because no personal information is required, all students can have an account. You control how public the blog entries are, all posts are private by default. Kidblog accounts are always free.
Wikis are web pages that can be edited by a large number of people, allowing for a collective product. Think Wikipedia. The advantage of using wikis is that you (the owner) can see who edited the page, and what they added. Students can collaborate to create a website that showcases their work for the world, with no need to know HTML code.
WikiSpaces Classroom - WikiSpaces offers Classroom, which allows you not only to create Wikis, but also host discussions, post assignments and host a social news feed. WikiSpaces has become a multipurpose site for your classroom. WikiSpaces Classroom is free for individuals. Campus and District solutions also available.
PBWorks - PBWorks also offers an education edition, and does not require email addresses for account creation. Intuitive navigation and editing make classroom wiki projects easy to set up and maintain. Free accounts allow 1 Wiki and 2GB of storage. Additional storage, branding and custom security available for a fee.
Allowing students to create and manage their own websites is a skill set that is invaluable in the 21st Century. Gone are the days where you needed to teach HTML code to accomplish this task (though knowledge of HTML still comes in handy!). While there are many hosts available, I have explored only three below.
Google Sites - Google Sites offers the flexibility of a shared classroom website or individual student websites. If you are a Google Apps for Education school, student account creation is unnecessary, as they use their regular Google log in, but Sites must be turned on by your administrator. Google Sites is not as easy or intuitive as others, but does eliminate the need for new account creation. Once users get the hang of Sites, the ability to embed Google docs makes them ideal for your classroom to show off their work.
Weebly - Weebly for Education allows you to create a classroom website, or have your students create their own, and you control student accounts. Weebly offers beautiful templates, and enough flexibility to create any type of website you desire. You can adjust the privacy settings of the websites created, adding passwords for site entry for security. Weebly also supports blogs on your website, and they do not place ads on your sites. Make sure to sign up for Weebly for Education, it is not easy to switch types of accounts. Weebly for Education is free for individuals, campus and district solutions also available.
WordPress - Wordpress allows you to set up a classroom website and add multiple contributors. They offer beautiful customizable templates. They do not offer control over student accounts. Students needs to be 13 or older to create an account. Wordpress is also a blogging platform. You decide whether you are building a blog or a website. You can add password protection to individual pages and whole websites to maintain privacy. WordPress is free, and offers upgrades for a fee.
Gone are the days when students relied on PowerPoint to create presentations for the classroom. There are multiple presentation tools available to students now that allow for multimedia and text. Have students create presentations for a wider audience than your classroom with some of these tools.
Prezi for Education - Prezi for education allows you to create zooming, multimedia, non-linear presentations. They offer a variety of templates to make student work stand out. Prezi also allows up to 10 collaborators per presentation. Prezi EDU Enjoy is free, with options to upgrade for additional features.
Google Slides - Google Slides allows student to create presentations with embedded media, and then publish them to the world. Slides can be embedded in websites and accessed via a link as well. Google Slides allows multiple contributors to the presentation. As with the other Google Apps, Slides does not require account creation if you are a Google Apps for EDU school.
Video can be another powerful way for students to share their knowledge and understanding. Whether creating them with video cameras, or recording themselves giving a presentation, video allows students to connect with an audience far greater than their peers.
Present.me for Education - Present.Me allows users to upload static presentations from a number of tools, and then record a video to explain what is shown in the presentation. This is a great way for students to present their knowledge to a global audience. There are free as well as paid versions available. The Free version is limited to 3 recordings per month, per account.
MoveNote - MoveNote is similar to Present.Me in that it allows users to have video and documents side by side. It allows the uploading of images, PDFs and PowerPoint, as well as Google Slides. One advantage to MoveNote is that it can attach to your Google Drive for easy access and storage of videos. Presentations are stored on MoveNote, and you are able to link to them and embed them on websites and blogs. MoveNote is free, with the option to purchase additional features.
YouTube - YouTube has a video creator which allows users to create projects from videos they upload, a webcam, or by creating a Photo Slide show. YouTube is a great way to showcase videos students create for your classroom and share them with the world. YouTube is free, and works in conjunction with existing Google Accounts. If you are a GAFE school, your administrator must enable YouTube for your accounts.
There are multiple ways that students can share their work and ideas with the world. Make a pact with yourself this year to incorporate using at least one of these tools to provide your students with a global audience! Are there other tools that you use with your students? Share them with us!