This evening I used the free web service RSS Dog to add right sidebar widgets to a new page of “KidBlog Links” (classroom interactive writing websites) on our school website for Independence Elementary in Yukon, Oklahoma.
by Wesley Fryer
Several months ago I used Yahoo Pipes (also free) to create an “aggregated feed river” of posts from all 12 class blogs in 4th grade, and another “feed river” of all 12 class blogs in 5th grade. Before this evening, those Yahoo Pipes were only used (as far as I know) on the 4th grade Interactive Writing page and 5th grade Interactive Writing page of my classroom STEM curriculum website. Our librarian has started introducing all her classes to interactive writing with KidBlog during library time, which each of our classroom teachers also attend. (Unlike STEM class, which is another “special” like PE, Music and Art that provides conference/planning time for classroom teachers.) Because of this, we’re hoping more of our classroom teachers will start using KidBlog with their students.
See my post from last week, “Results of Grade 4-5 Interactive Writing School Survey (Oct 2014)” for more background. Eventually I hope we’ll have a free iOS and Android app for parents and others to use which will feature posts from our class KidBlogs.
If you’re interested in finding ways to further amplify student writing with your parents and community members, check out Yahoo Pipes as well as RSS Dog. Working with RSS feeds like this is a bit geeky and may seem “old school” (a throwback to the “early days” of web 2.0) but it can provide powerful ways to amplify student writing and student digital portfolios. I’d love to hear what you are doing at your school to amplify and share student blog posts / interactive writing.
For more resources on digital portfolios, check out my “Mapping Media to the Curriculum” project and digital literacy framework. The chapter on “Interactive Writing” from “Mapping Media to the Curriculum: Volume 1” is available as a $2.99 eBook download.
by Wesley Fryer
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