Tagged: competition

Global2 Blogging Challenge – ReThinking Publishing and Transparency

global2 blogging challengex450

Students, classes and teachers at Hawkesdale P12 College have been blogging for the past four years, since Heather Blakey came to visit. We blog with varying degrees of success – none I consider to be failures. Blogging is the ultimate open-ended task, suited to all ages and abilities. As a digital portfolio it allows students to build up a chronological record of their writing and changing interests. It can be customized to suit individual students with a huge variety of templates, widgets, headers and colours available.

My daughter (aged 12) enjoys posting on her blog “to share with everyone” – although she doesn’t receive a lot of comments, she is careful with her writing because she knows she potentially has a global audience. She likes to choose widgets which express her personality and is constantly working to improve the appearance of her blog.

As a science and maths teacher, I have limited time to blog with my students in class. I do like them to produce digital products, such as slideshows, posters, quizzes and reports that can be added to their blogs. It was interesting that some students preferred not to add their slideshow of an eye dissection, because “people don’t want to look at blood on my blog”. Ideally, I think students should write at least weekly on their blogs and comment on their peers blogs. It would also be great if relatives, parents and teachers could comment regularly to encourage thoughtful blogging and reflective thinking.

Our school has started to focus more specifically on learning intentions, success criteria and making these explicit to students. I believe this is a powerful strategy for teachers and learners to improve learning outcomes. If we encourage students to state these learning intentions and reflect on their progress towards them on their blogs, students will be able to document their improvement over time. The development of this metacognitive process allows students to become more independent and improves their critical thinking – all valuable 21st century skills.

I think we can improve blogging at Hawkesdale by involving parents in the process. We are planning a parent information night when we will demonstrate the use of Facebook, blogs and other web2.0 tools. This is part of a proactive strategy to minimize cyber-bullying by assisting parents to monitor their children’s behavior online. We are also running a competition “What does my Digital Footprint say about me?” with prizes donated by local businesses. Students in three different age groups will submit artworks, writing, multimedia or songs demonstrating their understanding of appropriate online behaviour. This is one small way we can facilitate student thinking about how to behave online.

How does your school involve parents with technology learning?
What are some effective strategies to encourage students to behave appropriately online?
Why do you think inappropriate comments are more frequent on Facebook than on blogs?

Kanawinka Global Geopark


Lake Surprise at Mt Eccles National Park

Hawkesdale is right in the middle of a geologically significant area, recognised by UNESCO as a Global Geopark, for it’s volcanoes, caves, tumuli, sink holes and lava flows. This week you are required to complete two of the following tasks:

  1. Take a photo of a geologically significant feature near your home – it could be basalt (bluestone), scoria, a rock wall or sandstone building. Upload the photo to Flickr, with the CC license and tag it #kanawinka; #rocks #pics4schools #earth and #geology. See if you can identify whether it is an igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rock.
  2. Use CC photos on Flickr to create a Voicethread about the different types of rocks and the rock cycle. or you can add your voice to the one I have uploaded here. Make sure you speak clearly and describe how each of the rock types are formed.
  3. Imagine you lived in the Kanawinka area 40,000 years ago, when the volcanoes were active. Write a short story (at least 400 words) about what life was like for you – your family, food, shelter and activities – when one of our volcanoes erupted (Mt Eccles, Tower Hill or Mt Rouse). Check out the images at the Budj Bim Tours site to see rock huts, fish and eel traps and the wetlands.
  4. Design a reptile area (20 metres square) for our threatened species of striped legless lizards, corangamite water skinks and other snakes and lizards. What features do they need to survive? Bruce Mirtschin (from Hopkins Moyne Landcare Group and HADDAC) will assist us to construct this area at the Hawkesdale Common, opposite Apex Park. Design interpretative signs about the different reptiles for visitors to the area. You will find more information about the species of lizards that live in Victoria at the Museum Victoria site.
  5. Create a 60-second science video for the competition that explains clearly a science concept – how igneous rocks are formed, how slow cooling produces larger crystals, the different types of volcanoes, how fossils are formed, what weathering and erosion does to a landscape etc. Videos must be uploaded by November 7th to qualify for the competition (great prizes!).

Year 8 Assessment tasks:

You may choose one of the following tasks:

  1. Test on Friday 29th October (Revision questions on pages 142 and 143 must be completed)
  2. Make your own My Studiyo Quiz (at least 15 questions with images) and embed it in your blog.
  3. Create a Voicethread or Photostory about the types of rocks and rock cycle
  4. Film an entry for the 60 second science video about types of rocks and the rock cycle; how fossils are formed; tectonic plates and continental drift; how life began on earth or another relevant topic (see me before you start your storyboard).