Professional Journal Summary April 1999 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Professional Journal Summary

Submitted by Tim Everson

April 7, 1999

I have chosen to write about the article Online Assignments: Student web pages report results to the world. by Louis Nadelson. This article appeared in the March 1998 issue of The Science Teacher.

This article suggested some very interesting ideas on how students can get both recognition and feedback on their work. It talked mainly about science students getting recognition for their research work. The author felt that publishing student work to the web solved several problems often associated with student research. The first of these being the question of what happens to student research data once it has been completed. Often times this research is lost or thrown away by the students. By publishing to the web, students see that the work that they complete is important and will be posted for others to both use and critique. Knowing that their work will be published on the Internet, helps students to take their research projects more seriously and causes them to want to create a quality piece of work. The second concern involving student research involves evaluation. In many instances, student research work is evaluated by a teacher or team of teachers. Rarely do students get to evaluate each others work. By publishing work to the Internet, students are allowing their work to be critiqued by other people their own age. I feel that this type of feedback is much more meaningful for students to hear than the feedback that they get from their instructors. The feedback that they do receive from Internet postings could come from virtually anyplace in the world.

Another benefit of posting work to the Internet is the ability to edit postings. A student could post work as they are completing research and keep updating the posting as their research progressed. The author feels that this ability to make changes causes this process to be considered dynamic. Students are also allowed to incorporate multi-media into their postings. This ability to incorporate sound, graphics, video, and text allows for a wider range of learning styles.

I am interested in the idea of having some of my classes post work to the web. I think that my desktop publishing classes could learn a lot from feedback that they could receive from fellow students. I could see this working exceptionally well if I was to set something up with a teacher in another location. We could share the location of our web servers so that we could find each others work. They would post desktop publishing projects for us to critique and we would in turn post projects for them to critique. It would be fun to find a school in a totally different part of the country to correspond with. Not only would my students benefit, but I would as well. I am always open to new ideas and projects and this would be a great source of ideas. I think that it would be fun to collaborate and produce projects together. This could be done by the combination of posting projects to the web and sending attached files via e-mail. Since all my students now have e-mail, it would be very easy for this to happen.

One thing that concerns me about this idea is putting a students real name on a web page that is accessible anywhere by anyone. We currently have a policy for our school web page to not include a students name for safety reasons. If we had an arrangement with another school, it would be easy to post work by number which would make it more difficult for someone to learn a students name. We could even come up with aliases and alias e-mail addresses if need be. I dont know if I am being too paranoid or overprotective, but I know that bizarre things have happened in the past with people learning about a child through the use of the Internet. I do not want to put any of my students into a situation that may jeopardize their safety.

I talked this over with several of my colleagues and they also had concerns involving putting student information on the web. We now have an Internet server installed at our school called Intergate. We have only had it up and running for 2 weeks and we are learning more about it every day. This server will allow us to have information posted on the school web page that will be accessible only within our network. This may be a great way for students to get feedback from their classmates within our school, but will not allow students in other schools to view their work. This may be a good starting point for this project.

I think that my students would find this type of project to be fun and informative at the same time. By posting their work to the Internet for other students to critique, I think they would take more pride in what they were creating. Sometimes I feel as though students often just get something done to hand in when Im the only one that is going to see their work.

-- Anonymous, April 05, 1999

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