The class has been working on their blog research notebooks for awhile…

… and now it’s time to take their work to the next level!

Today it was announced that each student will be making a full multi-media website about their research topic!!  Students will populate their individual websites with information and media that they have been posting to their blog research notebooks over the last month or so.  It’s time to turn all of those notes and draft paragraphs into “Research Websites”.

Today, students were introduced to some of the basic tools that are in the website building tool we plan to use for making the websites – Google’s free “Sites” app.  It’s part of the Google apps package that our school is moving towards.  The complete toolkit is called “Google Apps for Education” (GAFE) and it is a district-wide initiative that soon all Victoria schools will have access to.

This afternoon, all of the students were taught how to write a succinct and catchy introduction to their research website. They also worked to organize their research topics and questions into a logical order.  Students with access to an email account (their own or their parent’s) were also individually sent an “invitation” to become editors of their own websites (I had set up these up for them over the weekend). I believed that using the link in the email I sent to them would allow them to access and build their websites.

BTW – No students are to use their last names on the websites, to include personal information, or to post recognizable photos or videos of anyone on their websites.

I discovered today, though, that this particular tool only works with “Gmail” email accounts.  In other words, students with a Gmail email account (or access to an account sponsored by their parent) could begin work right away.  Today these students were able to add their introductions directly into their websites, and to begin building individual webpages for each of their research topics.  The other students wrote their introductions and organized their topics on paper, for now.

If parents are comfortable, it would be helpful if every student  in the class could have their own Gmail account  (or access to an account sponsored by their parent).  This is the easiest, tech-friendly, school district supported way to help students use the “Sites” app to make their research websites.  It (and the other “GAFE” tools) is a tool they will likely be using throughout their whole school career in the Victoria School District.  I would like my class to get started now, and help them become familiar with one of the tools in the GAFE suite!

For this project, however, students are not required to have a Gmail email account  (or access to an account sponsored by their parent).  For those parents who may not yet be comfortable with doing this, I will be able to provide students with some other means for building their websites.

No student will be denied the opportunity to build a website if they do not have a Gmail email account. And, again, no students will be allowed to use their last names on the websites, to include personal information, or to post recognizable photos or videos of anyone on their websites.

PS. Tomorrow I will be posting on this blog
the two page marking matrix for this exciting project.

 

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