County: Contra Costa
Students work on Thinkquest at Valley View
“I’d heard of blogs but I’d never thought about making blogs, but now… here it is…” This quote comes from a sixth grader in Mrs. Shauna Hawes’ Core Class at Valley View Middle School. She and her fellow students blog on Thinkquest (formerly known as think.com), a FREE learning platform. The Oracle Education Foundation offers K-12 schools this safe, password protected, teacher-monitored environment where teachers and students write web pages, collaborate and interact with others all over the world, and browse a library of student projects.
Blogging is not the only use of Thinkquest at Valley View. Johanna Rauhala, 7th grade core teacher, posts links to primary source photos of Renaissance and modern-day maps for students to compare the old to the new. Students go on to post links to additional primary sources that help them understand the development of the modern world. Students use links, videos and interactive tools like voting, message boards, and debates to enrich their learning. Perhaps most compelling is that Mrs. Hawes uses Thinkquest to teach digital citizenship hands-on. When one of her students posts something inappropriate, ANY teacher on Think can flag ANY student, increasing the accountability of all students to a worldwide community. The student is then required to take a quiz about digital citizenship.
Mrs. Hawes’ students blog every day, which they post to their Think pages weekly. As I leave her classroom, she asks her students to get out their portable keyboards and work on their blogs. The room is silent; heads are down, keyboards are clicking, and every one of her students is on task. As Mrs. Hawes says, “It’s amazing to see who emerges (as a writer) because they want to write for a real audience.”
Last Updated (Tuesday, 15 December 2009 14:36)