Ok, so my title is a bit exagerrated at the end, but at least I somewhat got your attention!
I teach 8th grade language arts (literature, vocabulary, grammar, and writing) within a two-period block session each day. (I also teach two religion classes for 7th grade, so my questions apply to them as well).
Now that you know I teach English, you probably know I have no life since I spend my days and nights collecting and grading endless essays and spelling. Blehhhhh.
Here's my issue. Last year, I started a wikispaces site because I LOVED the fact that there was a discussion component, and I frequently had them post journals and vocabulary stories there.
Over time, I found it was hard to organize my spaces ( still now, I don't know what I want to implement on my site. My goal was to post homework each day, but the formatting issues annoyed me and the pages started to look unprofessional, under or oversized, and just plain overwhelming).
And here we are. Summertime, where I STILL spend my days and nights drooling over work, but work I enjoy-- infusing tecnology into my classroom. I've been researching my eyeballs off (almost literally... contacts are off, and eyeglasses are on).
I'm overwhelmed. But, I'm a perfectionist, so I also want it all. I want the best of the best, and I want it now. Oh, yeah, and it needs to be free.
So here's what I want to implement. I don't know if it's best to have more than one site to make it happen or slap it all onto one place:
- Discussion forum
- Calendar with editable events
- Quiz section with assessment tool, so I don't have to grade everything by hand under the sun!
- Abilty to test online (with the ability to block the students from accessing websites to cheat).
- Blogging forum
- e- portfolio capability where students can showcase all of their writing
- Podcast and video embedding
- Photo Gallery (for shots I take of my students in school or projects)
- Lesson materials (where I can post upcoming assignments and notes)
I'm sure there's more, but I'm delirious. Am I missing anything else that needs to be online?
Oh yeah, I want the parents to be able to access their work to see their progress.
I know Moodle seems to be quite popular, but by putting all these "wants" in one place, does it limit the ease and quality of the tool? I want my students to blog, but I would like for them to be able continue blogging in high school once they leave my class. Is this possible within a one-stop-website?
Should I stick with a wiikispaces site and have a separate blog site per student which can also serve as their e-portfolio?
Wikis, and Moodles, and Blogs.... OH MY!!!
Thanks a million!