I recently retweeted something I saw which seems so obvious to me — and which I keep trying to advocate to my co-teacher peers (to little avail) — and was glad to see other people recognizing the writing on the wall:
— Matthew Gudenius (@MatthewGudenius) December 30, 2014
The fact of the matter is that we need to start recognizing and thinking about why we have our students do the tasks that they do. What is the purpose of a tri-fold board, or poster, or other visual communication tool? It’s to communicate, yes? So… which one is better: a visual communication aid that can communicate your information to an audience that is limited to a small audience of whoever is local, and happens to be standing in the immediate vicinity? Or a communication tool that requires even less time and money, yet communicates your message to a global audience worldwide? That’s where websites come in. Creating a website used to require money (for web-server/hosting) and a modicum of tech savvy (for learning/understanding markup language, aka HTML)… that is no longer the case, and hasn’t been for years. With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies about a decade or so ago, WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editors became all the rage, and many of them are available for free, online, with free web hosting to boot. Some notable examples have been FreeWebs, Weebly, and Google Sites. Personally, I have my students use Google Sites, because this particular service integrates seamlessly with embedding Google media — Google Docs, Sheets, Presentations, Drawings, Maps, Calendar, and more. It’s simply the easiest tool to use for these purposes. And in less time than you can write (or type and print), cut out, and paste information onto a poster board, you can have a professional-looking, global-communications tool to share your information or your work with billions of people. In other words, posters are obsolete.
PS. So is hanging student work on the walls. Here’s one way you can show ALL of their work for the whole year by posting one piece of paper: