I'm looking for ideas and/or examples for setting up a classroom log of daily activities, to be maintained by individual students (perhaps one assigned per day) to be posted and linked from my classroom site. This would help with the "I was absent yesterday; what did we do?" question, as well as provide a place to anchor our activities, and inform others (parents) what's going on in class. Ideally, I'd want to use a template based on my typical lesson plan format (opening activities, main lesson, closing assignment, homework), and would allow student-note-takers to link to online handouts and other resources. Our school uses GoogleApps, so that's a possibility, but I'm not sure how to set up permissions for students to post documents without requiring all to have GoogleAccounts. I've used Wikispaces for past projects, and that's a possibility, too, though I'm not sure how I'll provide an organizational structure to help students navigate once it is populated with daily entries. And, since I teach at the high school level with 6 different class periods (2 or 3 of which will have similar activities each day) I'm wondering about how to clearly distinguish one Government class from another, etc. I haven't explored the deeper structures available on various blog tools, but maybe that's the way to go. I'd like to keep the threshold for student tech expertise low, as some of the students are easily frustrated when things don't go exactly the way they'd expected, and I don't want to frustrate them with the process.

Any experience or ideas out there?

Tags: classroom, log, notes

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Edublogs makes it pretty easy to set up student accounts. I, however, found it even easier to have my kids handwrite the blog and then just type it in myself.
I did a similar idea last year with my fifth graders. I used my fifth grade class wiki, had each student set up their own wikipage. Their homework after each tech class was to summarize in a journal format what happened during class. Since each child could read everyone else's summary, and ask questions by editing the page, it seemed like a good idea to me.
Did it work well? Did students read each others' entries? Do you think it was worthwhile?

It sounds like all students had the same assignment in your case, where you'd have multiple summaries of the same classroom activity. I'm thinking of it more as a rotating responsibility -- basically assigning a different student each day, so they'd be responsible for it about once a month -- and creating some sort of archiving/navigating structure so it's possible to find out what happened on any day of the course. But the less I have to do after the fact (linking from a calendar, for example, or creating a navigation hierarchy) the better, because I'll be faced with 6 a day.
If you use a blog platform like Edublogs, you could have one blog with you as administrator, have each class under its own category , then add students as users in different roles eg editor, author etc. You could add students the week before instead of all in one hit. Here is a link to using a class blog and how to set them up http://theedublogger.com/2010/01/05/week-1-create-a-class-blog/
Or rather than a rotated responsibility, perhaps the wikispace is the best application. One student could be responsible for initiating the entry and then other members of the class could be responsible for editing and revising the entry. GoogleDocs or WriteWithMe might be interesting. More than one student can edit at the same time.
Are you looking for an ejournal? An electronic form of the traditional notebook? I suppose I might try using the blogs and discussions on Ning or another social network platform to do this. I teach 5-6 and last year I began using blogs on Ning to journal.

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