Cyber English 9

Sheboygan Falls High School

A Web-Based Approach to Language Arts

o        What is it?

o       Web-based instruction in an English 9 curriculum

§         Students create web pages for publishing their work online.

§         Students learn to rely on teacher web site as a resource for their assignments and projects.

§         Email accounts encourage communication between students, parents, and teachers.

·        Students send regular progress reports to parents via email.

·        Students can use email to communicate with teachers regarding problems or in general. (Some students have expressed gratitude that they have this less public way of discussing problems).

·        Students can email themselves at home or at school with rough drafts of assignments or other documents that will help them with homework.

§         Online discussion varies the ways in which students communicate, developing technology skills as well as general discussion skills

§         Students can email their web pals (telementors) about their work and engage in conversations about writing, web design, and learning in general.

o        How is it taught?

o       Teacher web site is the hub of instruction.

§         Policies

§         Calendars

§         Assignment instructions (Ex: To Kill a Mockingbird, Poetry)

§         Web integrated resources for teacher and student (Ex: six traits)

§         Filing Cabinet: handouts, rubrics, etc. are online and available at any time for students or parents.

o       All students create a web page that is published on the school web server.

§         FrontPage vs. html

§         Work in progress

§         Portfolio/Webfolio approach

o       Traditional course content is integrated with the web approach.

§         Link to interactive instructional web sites (Ex: grammar)

§         Online texts are available

§         Online resources (Ex: literary terms, poetry links)

§         Students create and publish work on the web

o        What are the educational benefits?

o       Students’ writing skills will improve.

§         Audience is expanded to include potentially anyone, anywhere.

·        Parents can see samples of student work whenever they want.

·        Students see the work their peers do and the quality meter is no longer hidden. The great effort is public view just as the mediocre is also apparent. Students have a harder time being anonymous.

·        Students no longer write for the teacher, but perhaps for themselves since their audience is so large as to be indefinable. Publishing writing may be a matter of personal pride.

·        Publishing writing and other work prompts an internal need to make it right

§         Writing published on a web page seems more “alive” than writing on paper.

·        Easy to revise.

·        Writing hypertext makes student work interactive and helps develop non-linear thinking as well as the ability to make connections.

·        Writing on the web can be colorful, integrated into design, and connected to a variety of other purposes.

o       Multigenre can mean integrating audio, video, and hyperlinked text.

·        Webfolio approach is more effective. An essay on the web stays “out there” for viewing. Unlike a paper portfolio where student writing is essentially hidden unless the effort is made to go back and read, web published writing is always current. As students progress in their writing skill, they will no doubt see the differences in where they were and where they are more easily.

o       Students’ technology skills will improve.

§         All students are using FrontPage, Word, and Novell’s GroupWise e-mail. Some students can also integrate PowerPoint, Excel, and other programs.

o       Web approach facilitates certain strategies more easily.

§         Peer review. Read work online and respond using email.

·        By emailing Word attachments, students can use the highlight and add comment features to “mark up” peers’ papers to give more concrete feedback.

o       Web approach provides a stronger connection to home. Parents can see what’s going on in class by viewing the teacher and student web pages.

§         Parents who have Internet and email are more connected to this type of program. There may be equity issues.

o        How can I develop a similar program?

o       Support systems needed:

§         Administrative teams offer support in

·        Financing

o       Hardware and software as needed

o       Networking

o       Teacher training

o       Teacher time for course development

·        Technology

o       Web server

o       Network specialists

o       Hardware support

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