Previously, I mentioned that I was trying to streamline my web presence and make my sites more effective for my classes. This is another post in a series of how I am attempting to do that. Earlier in February I attended the Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference, PETE & C, in Hershey. There were many great presentations, in fact, there were more presentations than could be attended in person, but through the power of the Internet, most of the sessions have information posted online. One of the ideas that was discussed was using Netvibes.com to coordinate and post student blog feeds in a single area; I heard this in Joyce Valenza’s session on School Libraries and Web-based Practice: A Tour of Effective Practice.
Netvibes is a tool that allows you to collect feeds from various web sources and post them publicly or privately on your won web page. I used the site for posting news feeds for my social studies classes since learning about it in 2009 at CAIU’s Web 2.0 Event. It is a very effective tool for social studies, a one stop shop for current events and trending topics in the classroom. It is not the only source of news but it provides a focused list as a starting point of information.
Anyway, I decided to add all of my classroom blog accounts to Netvibes; these include my professional blog and all student accounts. My hope is to make the blog accessible from more Internet sites which will draw attention to them. I have Netvibes linked to my class wiki, my professional homepage, and a complete listing of student blogs listed on my classroom blog. My goal is to increase student usage of the blogs beyond assigned writings and to the improve the quality of their work. I have previously found that student motivation increases when they see that people are viewing their work online. My students’ blog feed page can be found here.
I will let you know later if my idea was successful…