Our middle school has been doing Student Led Conferencing (SLCs) for four years now and we’ve been making it better each year. As a middle school, we’ve come up with a plan of action and have something that we are going to move forward with next year. It has worked so well, our elementary school dipped into SLCs this year as an entire division. In year’s past, the middle school has used several methods to have students showcase their learning using technology:
Each student has a working portfolio with their school blog. Over the past couple of years, students would using the tag of SLC to showcase specific pieces of work to demonstrate their learning. Each subject was represented and the students would reflect on their SMART goals in password protected posts. While it worked, it still felt messy.
- MS Office Notebook Layout Portfolio
Students and teachers took a shining to the Notebook Layout view in MS Word. The students could create a tab for each of their classes, create a tab for goal-setting and could use the record feature to record directly onto MS Word. While this worked fine, it had it’s bumps because it was completely tied to their computer so their audience and feedback was limited. Additionally, students liked using VoiceCandy in their classes as a quick way to record instead of Garageband, but VoiceCandy and MS World do not get along on a consistent basis.
This is the first year we have pushed iWeb with our teachers and students. We now have dedicated server space on site so that students have the option of publishing to the FTP Server, making their iWeb public OR publishing to their Local Folder on their computer. Two of our grade levels chose to use iWeb this year for SLCs and the students included work demonstrating their learning in classes as well as their own reflections for our newly adopted Middle School Student Learning Profile. Next year, iWeb will be used at all grade levels.
Using iWeb as a platform to be the umbrella for their learning has proven to be a platform that we are going to continue to support at our school. We are very proud of the growth and reflections that students have demonstrated throughout the portfolio creation process. I want to stress, the most important component of the SLCs is the communication that occurs between the student, the parents and the teacher during the SLC time. iWeb was the perfect platform for our students to organize the conversation about learning.
View Jonathan’s Portfolio for an example:
The feedback from the parents was extremely positive. The students were more engaged using the iWeb platform and the teachers spoke favorably of the iWeb platform for its ease of use with minor technical difficulties. It was a win-win-win for everybody!