Mrs. Ryan's Class

A Digital Learning Hub for students and parents

Final tweaks to my hub…for now.

on December 3, 2015

Since my last blog post I have made more changes to my hub. I was inspired to make these changes after more personal reflection, review of my classmates hubs, and feedback from colleagues at work. I can’t believe that I’m saying this, but it is finally ready to share!

My hub can be found at here at nicolelryan.wordpress.com (the same site that this blog is housed.) I have chosen to include information for students, parents, and colleagues. There are multiple pages (Students, Parents, Read Alouds, Curriculum, Teachers, About Mrs. Ryan, and Blog) most of which have pages linked to provide additional content for each specific area.

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Though I am proud to share my work with my colleagues there are still more changes that I would make if I had an infinite amount of time.

 

In my last reflection, I set a goal to add more images to break up bulky content. I did integrate more images to various pages in my hub, but not specifically in the curriculum page as I originally intended. I have many pictures of my students engaging in learning that I wanted to include on this page of my hub. I specifically wanted to include one image of kids doing work in each content area. Although I have plenty of photos to choose from, I am still hesitant to share photos of my students publicly. None of these students are on the photo-opt out list, but I am still not completely comfortable with posting their images publicly online. Maybe sometime down the road I will be able to snap some photos of my students that do not show their faces. This would make me more comfortable with sharing.

I also created a section in my hub called “iPad Tips” in the Teacher section. My school has 3 iPad carts, and iPads are the primary tech tool that we use in the classroom, simply because they are the most accessible resource. I searched online and found three articles from Education World and Edutopia that I thought would be helpful for teachers who want to use iPads to support their daily teaching and student learning. They are, Education World: iPad Management TipsEdutopia: Resources for using iPads in grades K-2, and Edutopia: Resources for using iPads in grades 3-5.

The articles are straightforward, simple, and provide honest and realistic suggestions for teachers. The teachers who reviewed my website to give me feedback also found the articles to be useful and interesting. It is my hope that my colleagues who are not comfortable using iPads with kids can use these resources to find realistic ways to integrate technology into their existing curriculum and content areas. My school just purchased two Chromebook carts, so I would eventually like to find similar resources to provide support for teachers who are interested in integrating Chromebooks.

The last addition of content to my hub was two more read-alouds that I have read with my class, and a brief summary for each text. I anticipate adding to this section throughout the year to provide more information to parents who may be interested in reading the book at home with their child.

I also decided to change some aesthetics of my hub to provide easier access for students. First, I separated my multimodal tutorials in the student section and created one page for each tutorial. This way, my students don’t have to sift through lots of content to get to the tutorial they need.

My colleagues were a bit thrown off by the phrase “multimodal tutorial” which was on my site multiple times in the student and parent sections. I decided to change the names of the pages that house my tutorials from “____________ Multimodal Tutorial” to “How to use ___________.” I hope that this simpler naming scheme will help parents, students, and teachers navigate the site and find what they are looking for.

I also decided to change my static home page from “About Me” to a generic welcome message. I included the “labeled for reuse” image of a sun that is posted in my classroom and on all of my labels in school.

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This bright, happy, sun is a common symbol in my classroom and will be easily recognizable for students to let them know that are on the right website!

I moved the content about my background and philosophy of education to a new page called “About Mrs. Ryan” for people to access if they choose. I anticipate that most people will come to my site to access content, not to review my credentials and read my musings on education. I do, however, still think it is important to include information about me somewhere in my hub.

Overall, I am generally pleased with the digital learning hub that I have developed, refined, and changed throughout this course. I hope it is a place that students, parents, and colleagues access and use regularly. I anticipate my hub being an ever changing resource that I improve and edit with experience and time.

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