I have made up my mind that a class blog, I mean a teacher blog that I maintain and students go to, is a nice and simple way to begin to add a technological change to my Cultural Studies class as an ongoing resource throughout the course.
The purpose of the blog will be to inform students about objectives, contents, bibliograghy, web resources, assessment, class work, home assignments. Visiting links I post and doing the suggested tasks will help them develop their ability for independent learning.
The other question is students’ motivation to learn outside of the regular classroom. I think most of my students will feel motivated by the blog because it will give them the opportunity to learn much more through a variety of activities.
We are finishing the term next week so I can not create the blog for this class. Thinking of the blog for next year, I can suggest a number of websites for the first unit on American history I would like to post in the blog:
for students to identify the possible migration routes of the first Americans;
for students to watch a video on the colonization of America and then draw a timeline with the different European settlements. For that, I could also suggest online applications that will make a timeline, such as http://www.teachnology.com/web_tools/materials/timelines/;
for students to summarize the distinct characteristics of each colonial region in the settlement of North America, including religious, social, political, and economic differences.
After having learned and discussed about interactive PPT this week, I found a very nice one for this unit at http://www.slideshare.net/marcif/life-in-colonial-america which gives place to the think-pair-share technique to check comprehension and review at the end of the presentation.
The topics and activities suggested in the blog will be mostly checked in the face-to-face class.