Technology upgrades for student blog

Educator Name: Pernille Ripp
School Name: West Middleton Elementary


My 5th grade students are global citizens; they each keep a blog documenting our learning to the world and also reach out and teach other students how to blog and do it safely. By showcasing their learning through words we have been able to establish connections on 6 continents. However, we would love to add a multimedia component to our outreach through video cameras and digital cameras. We currently have 1 Flip video camera in our classroom which students reach for any chance they can. However, it is getting old and since there is only one it limits how much we can do with it. We had 2 digital cameras but they were broken last year and we have not had the funds to replace them. I am therefore looking for funding to purchase 3 additional video cameras as well as 2 digital cameras to put in the hands of students.

Through the use of video and pictures, students can document their learning and exploration much more thoroughly. By creating a digital portfolio of their work we can look at their learning throughout the year and assess much quicker whether they are on track or not to reach their desired learning goals. By putting these tools into the hands of students, they get to have a voice in how they showcase their learning and can refer to images or videos when they reach out to other classrooms in our school and beyond. Since these components are not curriculum based they can be used cross-curricular and even lent to other classrooms as well. Also, because we switch classes throughout 5th for both math and social studies this would not just impact my 25 students, but more than 70 students. A small investment will therefore greatly benefit many students.

We can measure the outcomes by the volume of work being produced as well as how deeply students understand concepts. Most students benefit from added visual components to their work so we can measure its effectiveness through assessment both formative and summative. And finally, you can assess student motivation in how eager they are to get started with a project, I think eagerness and willingness to take on challenges will increase as well, leading to better produced products.