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- Give the students guidelines. Without guidelines students there could be lots of bullying, slander, and foul language. It is also important to send a note to the parents informing them of the blogging project and to get a signature.
Don’t confuse blogging with social networking
-Blogs are not for socializing as you do on Facebook or Myspace. Blogs are intended for students to help each other get through coursework.
Don’t leap at the freebies
-Make sure you use a program that offers a structure that a school district needs. The educators need to have control and free sites are loaded with advertisements educators can not maintain.
Don’t force a sequential style
-Structuring entries by topic rather than by time helps readers to make more sense of a blog.
Don’t leave the blogging to the students
-As a teacher give feedback about opinions and blog posts, and learn more about the students through what they write. Students will look forward to seeing what you have to say.
DO recognize what blogging can do for your students!
-Blogging can help them become better writers among many other things. Blogs help students create short bits of writing which they can piece together and develop into larger pieces. Blogs are great for turning paragraphs into essays!
-Blogging is more about being creative, exploring, and discovering new educational ways to write without using pencil and paper.
-Blogging helps students acquire skills that help them to learn how to use hyperlinks and other online materials.
This article helped me think about all the things that need to not be done if I want to bring blogging into my classroom one day, which I think I will. This article offered many useful idea’s on how not to use blogging in the classroom and it also provided the positive aspects of blogging. One “a-ha” moment that came to mind was when I read that Davis advised teachers to have their students sign off on a code of conduct for blogging that covers areas such as bullying, slander, and foul language. This is a great idea so students will be held accountable for their actions if they decide to go against the code of conduct. I had another “a-ha” moment when I read that you must not confuse blogging with social networking. When I first heard of blogging in the beginning of the semester I thought that this was a way for people to socialize, but blogging can be so much more than that. After blogging throughout the semester and reading about it in this article I realized that blogging can be very useful in education for students to communicate with one another about their coursework, and is not just a tool for socializing. The final “a-ha” moment I experienced was when I read about Class Blogmeister. This site is very simple with only seven templates, but it gives the teacher a lot of control. This site filters every student entry through the teacher before publication. This is a great way to keep blogging safe so that students can learn and participate in their classroom blog without worrying about foul language or bullying.
One quote I found compelling was: “A blog becomes a community,” Davis says. “You get to know students in ways that they won't reveal otherwise. A quiet child will give you her opinion [in a blog].”
Bolster the Background
- During this stage, teachers post activities and questions on the blog designed to build background knowledge about the selection that students are reading. Then, students evaluate information and share what they have learned by posting their ideas to the blog.
Prime the Pump
-This stage is meant for students to think about the background they have built and what they have read in the beginning chapters of the text. This is a great way for students to share confusions they have about the text, first impressions of the characters, a summary of what they have learned, and connections they have to the text. Then students are required to read classmates responses and prepare for a conversation about the text.
Continue the Conversation
-In this stage students are asked to begin summarizing and synthesize understanding the text. Synthesizing is more than summarizing, it involves original thinking. This is a good time to work in pairs to prepare synthesis comments which promote better student work.
Make Multiplicity Explicit
-In the final stage students read classmates responses, noting which are similar and different and in what ways. These responses show students how different perspectives can be and how this enriches one’s own thinking. Students will encounter many different perspectives and it will show them how important it is to support one’s perspective.
Classroom News Blog
-These blogs are often used to share news and information with parents and students. Teachers update classroom blogs on a regular basis, posting homework assignments, providing curriculum for parents, and sharing other information that can benefit the student.
-These blogs allow the bloggers to reflect on their thinking. Teachers are not only posting their own reflective thinking but students do as well. Students comments may include thoughts about lessons or content that is learned.
-Many teachers use these blogs to post student art projects, podcasts, and writing. Many students learning a second language use these blogs to post podcasts describing their day with the text written underneath.
Literature Response Blogs
-This type of blog is common in elementary classrooms. This blog moves the idea online where the teacher may post a prompt and invite student responses to a text. Using blogs provides younger students with a different setting for literary response.
This article showed me so many things about a blog! It taught me how to begin a blog and showed me several different types of blogs. This article also provided steps to help students develop higher order thinking skills through blogging. This article offered a lot of important information and tips to consider if you are looking to bring blogging into your classroom. My first “a-ha” moment came to me when I read about the different types of blogs there are. I really like the idea of the Showcase Blog which consists of students posting podcasts and other projects to help learn a second language. This is a great way to learn a second language, and by posting it to a blog people can give you advice on how to improve your speaking and writing skills with the new language. Another “a-ha” moment came to me when I read that when students read posts on blogs they read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the U.S. and the world. I believe this to be true because as students learn more about using blogs and the internet they will have a chance to explore and gather information from other sites helping them get a better understanding of other cultures and much more. The final “a-ha” moment I had was when Stephanie was telling about her students involvement with the blogs. I enjoyed reading that several students had become interested in the using the blog for other reasons other than their required schoolwork. One student wanted to post a poem they had written and another wanted to write about the book they were reading at home. It is good to see students get involved in writing outside of the classroom and just for fun.
One quote I found interesting: “This population is both self-guided and in need of guidance, and although a willingness to learn new media by point-and-click exploration might come naturally to today’s student cohort, there’s nothing innate about knowing how to apply their skills.”
-They can be used as electronic bulletin boards and are very efficient. You can post class announcements for parents and provide schedules as a reminder.
-Teachers can post tips, explanations, or samples to help students learn.
-You can post student projects and assignments. This can be a like a showcase for the students projects.
They enhance learning for students
They motivate students and foster collaboration
Students can develop and express their ideas and
receive feedback from others
Posts and comments can be updated easily
They provide instructors an opportunity to extend learning and engage students beyond the walls of the classroom
They enhance analytic and critical thinking skills
They improve the knowledge sharing between students as well as between the instructor and the students
They allow students to carry on writing about a topic over a sustained period of time
This article gives an overview of blogs and explores the many advantages of blogging along with the disadvantages. It also discusses the major software used in creating blogs. This article offers a lot of information about blogs and how they should be used in education. The first “a-ha” moment I had was when I read that blogging is not only about online reading and writing, but more important, about reading what is interesting to the audience. Blogging is all about learning, and by making it more interesting to the audience the students will be more interested to engage in topics and learn the material. The next “a-ha” moment came to me when I read that reading other students’ blogs is more helpful to content understanding than writing their own entries. I can see where this would be useful because if you read another persons entry then this could open up so many more ideas for your own writing. Getting feedback from another classmate can help you fully understand the material so that you can do your best work. The final “a-ha” moment for me in this article was when I read about “EduBlogs.” Teachers often use these blogs as an educational resource for their classroom. It is great there is a type of blog created specifically for educational purposes and learning.
My favorite quote: “This (the blogging process) just seems to me to be closer to the way we learn outside of school, and I don’t see those things happening anywhere in traditional education. Could blogging be the needle that sews together what is now a lot of learning in isolation with no real connection among the disciplines? I mean ultimately, aren’t we trying to teach our kids how to learn, and isn’t that (what) blogging is all about”.
“ Exploring Educational Use of Blogs in U.S. Education” My Reflection
Sturgeon, Julie. (2008). Five Don’ts of Classroom Blogging. Web 2.0, 1-5. Retrieved from T.H.E Journal database.
Zawilinski, Lisa. (2009). HOT Blogging: A Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking. The Reading Teacher, 62(8), 650- 661. Retrieved from the JSTOR database.
Hong, Wang. (2008). Exploring Educational Use of Blogs in U.S. Education. US-China Education Review, 5(10), 1-5. Retrieved from the ERIC database.
These articles show us how important and useful blogs can be in education. I enjoyed reading these articles and learning more about how I can use a blog in my classroom. With technology growing as rapidly as it is, it is important to bring technology into the classroom often so that students are well prepared to use it in the future. Using blogs in education gives students the chance to help each other with their coursework and learn more about a topic through their classmates posts.