Technology inEducation - BloggingMEDA 5400 Integrating Technology into Teaching and Learning Spring 2012 Michelle Childress, M.S. Ed.
What History has Taught UsTechnology is:• not a quick-fix for education’s problems• shows literacy offers limited rationale• proves teachers are not developers• demonstrates what is possible is not alwaysdesirable or feasible• showing change is too fast to keep up with• proving older technologies can be useful• not going to replace teachers
Some Rationale for Technology UseTechnology is:• motivating• providing uniqueinstructional opportunities• supports new instructionalapproaches• increases teacher productivity• supplies required skills for an Information Age
Why Use Technology? Technology will:• influence student academic performance• assist in the development of higher order thinking and problem solving• improve student motivation, attitude, and interest in learning• help prepare students for the workforce• address the needs of low performing, at-risk, and learning disabled students Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) http://caret.iste.edu
When Does Technology Work?Technology will work when:• directly supporting the curriculum objectives• providing opportunities for student collaboration• adjusting for student abilities and prior experiences, and providing feedback• integrated into the instructional day• providing opportunities for students to design and implement projects• used in environments where teachers, the school community, and the district support the use of technology Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET) http://caret.iste.edu
What is a blog?A blog is a type of website in which items are postedand displayed with the newest information at the top.Like other web media, blogs typically focus on asubject or theme, like food, politics, education, ornews. Some blogs function as personal, onlinediaries. A typical blog combines text, images, andlinks to other blogs, web pages, and other mediarelated to its topic. Since its appearance in1995, blogging has emerged as a popular means ofcommunication. Blogs can be hosted by dedicatedblog hosts, or they can be run using blog softwareon regular web hosting services.
Blog BasicsThe term blog is a blend of the terms web and log, leading toweb log, weblog, and finally blog. Authoring and maintaininga blog or adding an article to an existing blog is calledblogging. Individual articles on a blog are called blog posts,or entries. A blogger is posting these entries.A blog entry typically consists of:• Title - main title, or headline, of the post.• Body - main content of the post.• Comments - comments added by readers• Post Date - date and time the post was published.• Categories (or tags) - subjects that the entry discussesA blog site typically contains a list of links, or blogroll of otherblogs that the blog author reads or affiliates with.
How Blogs Differ From WebsitesA blog has certain attributes that distinguish itfrom a standard web page. A blog typically:• allows for easy creation of new posts from the home page• uses templates to maintain a consistent appearance• allows for filtering of information with tags• arranges new information chronologically• allows for easy filtering of content for various entries by date, category,or other attributesModern blogs also allow for the creation of pages--a singlepage that can be devoted to a topic which does not change.Examples of static pages on an education blog might includeexamples of student projects, research articles, and lessonplans.
How Blogs are MadeBlogs can be created by a user by hosting the software andblog site on their own server. They can also be created on adedicated blog server-based system which eliminates theblog owner from needing to manage a server or software.With the current Web 2.0 interfaces, these systems allowbloggers who travel to blog from anywhere on the Internetwithout having to maintain their own server.Popular systems for blogging educators include Edublogs,Blogger, and Wordpress. All of these services are currentlyfree and offer easy use and a quick start for anyone wishingto create an online presence.An example from Blogger: Technology Integration Tools for Teachers
Examples of BlogsBlogs can be created for many differenteducational purposes. Some of these include:• communication between home and school (Example: The Blog Dogs)• encouraging students to comment and think about assignments (Example:Mr. Remien’s Digital World)• a location for additional resources on particular topics (Example: TheConnected Classroom)• a teacher portfolio of work, projects, resume, and/or examples of studentwork (Examples: Jody J. Wright and Keri Drish [former MEDA5400 student])• an archive of great ideas, reviews of books, or websites that would behelpful for projects (Example: Nerdy Book Club)• serving as a teacher webpage for a classroom (Example: Runde’s Room)• sharing ideas and professional development for educators (Example:Teaching Blog Addict)
Why Create a Blog?1. Communication with parents and students: blogging isa simple tool for basic communication, especially whendealing with large class sizes and busy schedules; asummary of ‘whats going on’ can be shared with familieswho have Internet access; teachers can choose whether theywish to have comments/questions posted by readers2. Communication with your peers: blogging allows for aprofessional dialogue with peers; everyone can benefit fromfocused, professional discussions; some educationalbloggers like Will Richardson and David Warlick havedeveloped a large following due to their spirited discussionsand creativity; blogs now can serve the same purpose as theolder concept of email groups from the past decade but aremore personal and creative
Why Create a Blog?3. Showcase student work: blogs can be used to highlightyour students work, providing a method of sharing for amuch larger and expansive audience; more and moreeducators are using blogging as a method for students toactively engage in publishing their individual writingassignments in the real world where they receive feedbackfrom each other, as well as other online mentors. Studentblogs can either featurepolished work or drafts forpeer review. One example is:Madness in the Method (ablog developed to improvewriting skills of high schoolEnglish students)
Why Create a Blog?4. Other educator ideas for using blogs:• student feedback on classroom activities--what works and what doesnt• student reflection and analysis of class topics to enhance meaning andsignificance• student simulations and role playing which have participants activelyparticipate to heighten interest/motivation and bring subjects alive• student logs of daily experiences during projects or investigations• student responses to controversial subjects and current events• student opinions and ideas as an asynchronous dialogue on topics
Drawbacks to Blogs It is felt by some educators that the biggest difficulty withusing blogging technology is figuring out where blogging fitsinto classroom curriculum objectives. Blogging may require some long-range thoughts about theintegration of this type of technology in the classroom. The informal nature can sometimes hinder teachers whowant to have a formal system for assessment. However blogresponses by students can be evaluated.Please see the rubrics available at Rubistar[http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php?ts=1284310576] Students may also not feel immediately comfortable in theblogging environment and need help with how they canexpress themselves.
Planning for the Use of BlogsHave a blogging game plan! Do some background work andconsider the following: determine how a classroom blog fits into your curriculum long-term explain your expectations and objectives clearly develop and share either an informal or formal evaluation system guide your students though a few activities to increase their comfort enhance collaboration and community-building by asking students toboth read and comment on posts made by their peers use blog posts/comments for starting, enhancing, and prolonging in-class discussions; make specific references to the class blog during facetime create scaffolded assignments where blogging is an integral part ofthe completion of the project; do not always create isolated bloggingactivities
Your Blog - Final Course ProjectYou will be creating a blog which you will be adding your other projects toas they are completed. Your blog will contain several key componentswhich will provide you with a professional portfolio of your work. See onepartial teacher example below: The blog’s key components will be: a title (your name since it is a portfolio type blog) a home page which will hold your blog updates (at least 3) five pages (either tabs or a menu listing) for your projects images and links to keep things attractive color contrasts to help with readability for your audience
Task - Creating a BlogTask Rationale: This task provides for creating a professional portfolio online towhich this class’s technology projects, research paper, and personal blog postingswill be added.Task Guidelines:1. Review this PPT and create your personal blog on Blogger using your ETSU email address. [http://www.blogger.com] You can create more than one blog using the same address.2. Read the article: HOT Blogging: Framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking, L. Zawilinski (attached in D2L)3. Review the rubric for this project to see what components are contained in this task. (This task will not be scored until the END of our course, after you have added all the components which we will be creating together.)4. Read and follow the directions for completing your blog (attached in D2L).5. Begin creating your blog (does NOT need to be completed) by the due date on your calendar for this week. PLAY with your blog and experiment.6. Questions? Ask them in the discussion section of D2L.
Blogs About Blogging and Technology• Cool Cat Teacher Blog (just a section of this teacher’s blogwhich discusses tips for blogging)• Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch (truly a motivational,dynamic speaker and all things technology guru in theeducation field)•Technology Integration Tools for Teachers (a personaltechnology blog I’ve created and shared; a continual work inprogress)• Daily Blog Tips (interesting an up-to-date tips for bloggers)