Many administrators are apprehensive about allowing a student led web site that highlights activities in their school. The apprehension occurs because most fear the content that will be on the site. They shouldn’t. Here are some reasons for allowing a student-run website.
- 21st Century skills/ Common Core. Currently in education, these two phrases cause educators to think about their curriculum. The push for students to demonstrate 21st century skills drives what should be taught in the classroom. Giving students control of a website emphasizes two 21st century skills in particular: employability and technology. While learning in the classroom they will also be helping themselves when they enter the workforce.
- Student Centered Classroom. This is another big push in education. Administrators really want more focus on students learning independently in the classroom and the teacher guiding them. Once the initial instruction is given, students make most decisions when it comes to the design and information that is published on the website.
- Differentiated instruction. All students learn at different levels. A student led website allows for different learners. One student might like to design the web site while another wants to write the information and yet another has a passion for taking pictures. Even though there might be assigned roles in the beginning of a semester, with differentiated instruction these roles can change, allowing growth for the students.
- Collaborating Learning. Another buzzword in education. Administrators are so concerned that technology will hamper students’ ability to communicate and work with others that they are making it part of the curriculum. A student led website gives them many opportunities to work together in order to make it run.
- Creativity. I don’t think this one needs any explanation. The ability to create and design really steps outside the normal school day. Those right side thinkers need places to let the creativity flow-a student led web site allows them their freedom.
- Multi-tasking. Because there are so many different elements to a student led website, students will need to learn this essential skill-and for the most part, they have it! However, this will force them to use it and be productive.
- College/Life Long Learning Skills. Whether a student decides to continue their education after high school or enter the workforce, the skills learned in a web class will help them.
- It’s Cool! This one is so elementary but students enjoy seeing their work published. Many take pride knowing that they have accomplished something that most in the community can explore. They can brag to others, “Yeah I did that!”