Doodle 4 Google

I’m very proud of my high school Graphic Design students who all participated in the Doodle 4 Google contest.  All of the entries were fabulous this year but the class voted to submit the following designs for our school entry.  Great job kids! (click on thumbnail to see full image).

Student blogging with 21classes.com

Well, I have been blogging with 2 different classes this semester and would like to give an update of how it’s going so far.  I chose to use http://www.21classes.com with my Graphic Design and Digital Video Production classes.  I chose to blog with these students because they are considered “advanced” project classes and incorporating reflective writing along with the projects will give me insights into the students thinking of why they designed projects the way they did.  Plus the blogs give an authentic audience for the student’s work and opportunities for comments create interaction among the students.21classes.gif

First of all, the Graphic Design students immediately taught each other how to customize their blogs with colors, backgrounds, embedded images, and tweaking CSS code (see samples).  I only pointed the way and soon I noticed kids helping kids and lots of learning happening without any of my help – thank you MySpace!

The Digital Video students enjoyed embedding their first video project into their blog.  I have also assigned them to look for examples of interesting video clips, editing techniques and add them to their blog for assignments.  Almost all written work for both classes is placed on the blogs.  I am requiring (for now) student to comment on other’s post to encourage communication – but most of the kids do it without specific direction.

21classes keeps our student’s blogs private and also has a community portal so students can easily access each other’s blogs plus it gives me a place to post assignments for both classes.  Students from Graphic Design and Digital Video classes can see each other’s blogs and this has increased interest in what the other class is doing.

So far I am please with the overall layout, user interface and ease of use of 21 classes.  We are already maxing out our free space so I will be upgrading to the paid subscription ($8.95 per month) but this gives each student 25 mb of space which will be needed by the Graphic Design students since we are posting graphic samples and student projects on the blogs.