Sturgeon, J. (2008). Five don’ts of classroom blogging [Electronic Version]. T.H.E. Journal, 35 no2, 26, 28, 30.
MacBride, R. & Luehmann, A.L. (2008). Capitalizing on emerging technologies: a case study of classroom blogging [Electronic Version]. School Science and Mathematics, 108 no5, 173-83.
Blogging in the
Blogging to Improve Instruction in Differentiated
Five Don’ts of Classroom Blogging
Capitalizing on Emerging Technologies: A Case
Study of Classroom Blogging
Blogging to Improve Instruction
in Differentiated Science
MICHAELA W. COLOMBO & PAUL D. COLOMBO
Five Don’ts of Classroom
Capitalizing on Emerging
Technologies: A Case Study of
Blogging to Improve 1
Ms. Daniels utilizes blogging in order to meet the
needs of her diverse classroom.
Taylor is an advanced student who uses the class
blog to locate links that provide more in-depth
information than the assigned text.
Robert listens to Ms. Daniels pod/vodcasts to
listen and watch Ms. Daniels guide him through
how to use reading strategies and locate
vocabulary words in the science text.
Blogging to Improve 2
“Successful blogging requires content-area master
teachers to rethink current teaching models and to
make important decisions regarding the effective
integration of technology.” (Columbo &
Blogging, although not difficult, is time-consuming and
should be part of the curriculum, not an add-on.
Novice teachers should first become comfortable with
using the technology, view examples, and experiment
before fully integrating blogging into their curriculum.
Teachers need to have access to professional
development opportunities, up-to-date
technology, and time to share and receive feedback
from other educators.
The concept of blogging in order for students and teachers
to communicate easily outside of the classroom enhances
the opportunity for comprehension.
I liked how Ms. Daniels provided step by step instruction
for her lower level reader, while providing links on her blog
to give her advanced student the opportunity to explore.
One challenge for my school district will be allowing
teachers access to blogging sites at school. All social
forums are blocked by our filter.
Another opportunity will be finding enough technically
savvy professionals that are willing to experiment with this
tool, and then finding the time to share their knowledge
with other professionals in the building
I feel that parents and students will need additional training
on accessing and correctly utilizing the blog for further
instruction and feedback.
Five Don’ts 1
#1: DON’T DIVE IN! Set up guidelines, objectives, and
proper use of classroom blogs
#2: DON’T confuse blogging with social networking! It’s not
MySpace or Facebook; blogs should be academically
focused and thought provoking.
#3: DON’T go for the freebie sites! Most blog sites aren’t
classroom friendly and can open up the students to outside
advertising that the teacher can’t control. Other sites can
be too confusing for students to use and set up.
#4: DON’T force a sequence for blog entries! Set up entries
according to topic, so students can easily locate or post an
entry that fits the academic topic instead of a time period.
#5: DON’T leave the blogging to only the students! Teachers
should use blogging to interact with their class and provide
feedback; not just to post assignments and lessons!
But the Do-Do’s
Recognize what blogging can open up for your
“Blogging engages students in creating short bits
of writing, which Dubbels says they can then
piece together and develop into larger pieces.”
Blogging allows students to use
videos, images, and music, which really boosts
“Blogging is more about
exploration, discovery, creation, and the idea that
students can do things that are immediately
Blogging in my classroom is a tool I can see
myself “diving” into. Many times I get excited
about the idea of introducing a new concept or
learning style into my lessons, but I don’t take the
time to test it, have it critiqued, and then stick with
it when it doesn’t go as planned the first time.
Taking the time to effectively integrate and keep
up with a classroom blog would be my biggest
However, I’m confident in my abilities to use the
technology and put engaging content into the
Case Study 1
Mr. K. used blogging as a tool to engage students
and provide assistance for his Pre-Calculus class.
Students had to post an unspecified review of the
day’s lesson. Here they could also type in
formulas, questions, or just a simple review.
Mr. K. would also post a challenge puzzle each
Sunday as an extra credit opportunity.
A Del.i.cious account was also set up because
students were sharing so many web resources
and the class needed a way to share these sites
without having to laboriously search the web.
Case Study 2
Mr. K. noticed that his students were posting and
responding to the blog by using typical IM
language, so he set up a Chat Box on the side of
the blog so students could use their common
Another positive outcome of his classroom blog
Mr. K. observed was that students were viewing
and posting comments and questions on a
He also felt that his connection to the class was
established sooner in the semester. Participation
in live discussions fed off of the posts in their
Here’s Mr. K’s actual classroom blog! Mr. K's
Although this case study was performed at a
secondary level, it does open up the discussion of
using blogs as a valuable tool in order to engage
students that don’t typically participate in
I see the potential for a classroom blog at the 6th
grade level, but could be used more as a
resource tool for my students. In this case, I can
post games and useful links to math sites and
have students solve or comment on the site.
I also see the opportunity for some of the
advanced students in the class to earn extra
credit by posting notes or useful tips on how to
14 solve a math problem.
Blogs have come along way from the common e-
journals to educational enhancements.
Expert teachers can utilize blogs in order to meet
the needs of diverse learners, as well as provide
additional practice and review.
It’s important for educators to remember that
setting up classroom blogs take
time, practice, and a firm set of classroom
Students of any age will appreciate the
connections made with the educator, as well as
other students, when given another type of outlet
to participate in classroom discussions.