One of the underused and often overlooked features of Kidblog is the ability to use it as a platform to share student work done through other tools. My fourth-grade students use a wide range of technology tools, websites, and apps. While it is beneficial for my students to become exposed to a bevy of online platforms in order to learn different ways of presenting information, it can be difficult to find ways of sharing this student work. Kidblog becomes the “easy-button.”
My students use Kidblog to reflect on a virtual field trip, explain the process and results of a science experiment, and share their thoughts on an essential question in reading. We also use Kidblog to link and explain work we have done through other online education tools. If my students are creating a presentation of their learning on a certain topic or concept using online tools such as Buncee, Sway, Google Slides, or Adobe Spark, they can easily share their work by embedding or linking their presentation in a Kidblog post.
Within the last couple of months, my class has done a novel study on the book Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and completed a social studies unit on early Kansas explorers. As part of their culminating projects for these units, my students created a Buncee explaining the themes of Maniac Magee and created a Sway depicting early Kansas life through the perspective of the state’s early explorers. When students were done with these projects, they simply copied the share link on their presentations and inserted the link in a new Kidblog post. Within the Kidblog post, they gave a short overview of the project, focusing on the main idea and the primary takeaway of the unit.
Our class also utilizes the Genius Hour process for inquiry-based research and creation. Often a student will create a digital presentation as part of their Genius Hour project. Since the process is mostly student-led, their presentations may come from a myriad of different online tools or websites. Linking their presentations from a Kidblog post is a great way for students to share their work with others.
Once a presentation link has been shared through a Kidblog post, it can easily be found and read by connected Kidblog classrooms as well as the students’ parents. My class has Kidblog partner classes in different parts of the country and world. When my students complete work and link their presentations in a post, they are able to share it with our global partner classes and provide a way to receive feedback on those presentations through the comment section. Rather than simply reflecting on a class project or unit, the students are able to show their work and present their creations to a larger, authentic audience.
Linking their online presentations in a blog post is a simple and effective way to share their work with parents, as well. When my current class first began using Kidblog at the beginning of the year, I emailed our class Kidblog site to my students’ parents. I made our class blog public, but I still reserved the right to approve any posts or comments made on the blog. My students’ parents are now able to better follow the projects we are doing in class and see examples of what their child is creating.
Our Kidblog site serves as both a student-work portfolio and as a parent communication tool. Utilizing Kidblog to share student work with peers and parents has provided my students with an authentic audience to show what they know!