WHAT IS BLOG.COM?• Blog.com is one of many free publishing platforms available on the Internet today• “A blog is your best bet for a voice among the online crowd. It’s a personal website, packed with features, as easy to use as your e-mail.” (Blog.com, 2012)• Blog.com offers users a variety of different features including multi-author blogs, service integration, a range of over 100 themes, multimedia support, privacy settings, and more.
IN THE CLASSROOM• Create a class blog/website to communicate class/school information with parents. Post field trip information, field trip forms, classroom guidelines, and more.• Create a blog with daily lessons listed for students who are sick or away.• Use a blog to show parents what their child is doing in school• Create a blog where every student in the class posts about a favourite vacation, activity, season, etc. Use it as a tool for creative writing.• Use a blog to teach writing and spelling to young elementary students.• Create a blog to post assignments, handouts, and notices.• Use a blog as a place for students to post weekly reflections on what they learned from a particular lesson/assignment
IN THE CLASSROOM CONT. Those were just some of the ways you can integrate blogs into your classroom. There are so many other ways in which you can effectively use blogs in the classroom. In order for blogs to be effective they must be beneficial to student learning. Beforecreating a blog in your classroom determine how it will be used to meet learning outcomes. Don’t just use the tool because it is something new and easily accessible.
BENEFITS• Fairly easy to use and set up• Free to use• Invites more students into the conversation – students who may be too shy to speak up in class can express themselves through a different medium• Provides a “safe” mechanism for introducing students to social media• Extends conversations beyond the classroom• Encourages collaboration and communication
WEAKNESSES/SHORTFALLS• Time Consuming – initially I thought I would create a site using blog.com to present my information, but shortly after I started creating the site I became frustrated with the settings and controls and decided against it.• Learning curve – while I do think blog.com is fairly user-friendly, it takes time to get used to and to become comfortable with the different settings and controls.• Potential for cyberbullying to occur if using as a tool within the classroom• Privacy issues