Creating a 7th Grade Current Events GoogleSite in Social Studies with @CatherinGeorges

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Catherine Georges (@CatherinGeorges) is the 7th grade Social Studies teacher at The School at Columbia University. I have really enjoy collaborating with her over the years. Recently, she and I looked at a variety of digital spaces to host a Current Events Site for her students to curate weekly articles for their classmates. Initially, I was looking forward to using Posterous but upon closer examination of their Terms of Service, I learned that users have to be over 13 years of age. This doesn’t work for our 7th graders. We considered Blogger next, but it is not currently in the Google Apps for Ed marketplace yet. I also considered Edublogs and other sites before Catherine and I just agreed to set up a GoogleSite: https://sites.google.com/a/theschool.columbia.edu/7th-current-events-2012-13/home

Each learning group (7A, 7B, and 7C) has a page with the Announcements template, and Catherine created a calendar which lists three children per learning group per week who are responsible for adding an article to their class page. Students need to include the following when posting a Local, National, or International story:

1. Link to the article

2. Summary of the article (3-5 sentences)

3. Supporting image (with citation)

4. Google Map (using a Google Gadget)

5. One good leading question for classmates to answer in the Comments section below each post

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