Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Proposal for the K-12 Online Conference Growing Posts

Growing Posts

I created growing posts when one of Darren's students commented that my classroom blogs were getting cluttered with many similar posts about the same topic. I would have the students answer questions and include graphics and illustrations to back up their thoughts. Since pictures cannot be placed in comments they each had to make a new post. 30 posts a night and 5 questions meant there would be 150 possible posts a week to one blogsite.

There had to be a better way. Then it hit me. I would have the students create one post, have them edit it each day adding new content. The final product would be a post that was a cumulative review of the unit of study underway. I desinged a small set of questions, that showed conceptual understandin, that were to be completed by a set date (2 weeks etc)

As the posts progressed I saw them valuable in many new ways. Students would learn new aspects of blogging technology with each new edit to their growing posts (how to insert pictures, how to hyperlink etc)

When my does scribe posts they only preform a blogging task once every 30 teaching days. Growing Posts were forcing them to complete blogging assignments on a regular basis. The quality of scribe posts improved as they learned from each other how to create illustrations and add other features to their Growing Posts.

I did three sets of Growing Posts in 2005. by the time that the last set of posts were completed new goals for these posts had emerged. Clarence Fisher and Darren talk about a network of learners. A part of the last growing posts was to create links with other students from different classrooms and leave comments behind on their posts. They would also link to Growing Posts that explained a certain question in a different way than their solution.

Growing Posts are a way to enrich your students. Some of my best students pushed the boundries of this assignment adding animated gifs and other new more accurate illustrations.

I started out with 45% of the students participating online(some decided to answer the questions on paper instead) and saw paticipation grow to 60% online by the last Growing Post.

My presentation will show teachers how to set up Growing Posts, The varied uses of Growing Posts, How to get students to network with each other, my pitfalls and successes that lead to the unlimited potential that this form of blogging will bring to their classroom.

Thank you

C. Harbeck

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