Blogging in Middle School

Carmen de Tata's 8th graders at Basalt Middle School didn't just write a persuasive paper about an environmental topic this year.

After writing their papers in Google Docs, Carmen challenged them to use Google Drawing to create a logo and slogan, then use PowToon to create a public service announcement, and finally pull it all together into a blog post on EduBlogs.

The integration of multiple tech tools added authenticity, engagement, and relevance to a traditional writing assignment. Students learned to communicate and collaborate using 21st Century skills that empower them to reach a wider audience.

This project was based on a Springboard embedded assessment that recommended a multi-media campaign. At first Carmen thought they would use Prezi, then we considered VoiceThread, before landing on the combination of PowToon and Edublogs.

Carmen was determined to find a tool that allowed students to collaborate and to get comments and feedback from an authentic audience of parents, teachers, and peers. Edublogs enabled that level of interaction with a $6/month Pro account. We created a class blog to which students could post from their own accounts, and to which parents and teachers could comment without setting up their own accounts.

Click here to visit the class blog and see their work. Add a few comments while you're there!

Here's a short video of Carmen and her students discussing how technology enhanced this project.

If you're interested in PowToon, Edublogs, or any other element of this project, email Ben for support!


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