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Blogging in the Classroom - Paving the Way for our Students' Digital Footprints

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Blogging in the Classroom - Paving the Way for our Students' Digital Footprints

  1. 1. Illinois Computing Educators 2014 Blogging in the Classroom Friday, February 28th, 2014 Theresa L Christensen, NBCT Township High School District 211 “Paving the Way for Our Students’ Digital Footprints”
  2. 2. Let’s Connect and Collaborate: TWITTER: @GradingGirl EMAIL:
  3. 3. “Blogs in Plain English” “Flip” this to students for a general understanding of blogs: “Blogs make the news a two-way street.” “A personal kind of news that appeals to a high number of small audiences” **from Common Craft on YouTube (originally shared by @gcouros)
  4. 4. Digital Writing and Common Core Alignment Bottom line: The CCSS call for more literacy activities across the curriculum. A blog serves as a tool to facilitate those activities!! ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ CCSS Anchor Standard 4: (Writing) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience. CCSS Anchor Standard 6: (Writing) Use technology, including the internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. CCSS Anchor Standard 8: (Writing) Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, and access the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism CCSS Anchor Standard 7 (Reading): Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  5. 5. What Others Say ...
  6. 6. What I Have Learned . . . ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ Students are mindful of their online presence. “Textspeak” habits are curtailed. Students learn to initiate and take control of their own online presence. They step up to the responsibility. No matter the future academic, career, or personal endeavor, students need strong digital skills to communicate effectively in the 21st century. Blogging gives students an authentic purpose. No longer are they simply completing an assignment. Blogging provides practice with what I call the 3 C’s: Creativity (with design and media) , Communication (with comments or discussion threads), and Care (audience awareness)
  7. 7. What I’ve Observed . . . My observations: My students say: ~ Students are excited to write! “Writing is fun again!” - R. Brown (current senior) ~ Students take greater care with purpose and tone. ~ Students are writing MORE! ~ Students are motivated to complete assignments. “It’s cool that we are learning how to write online. I never did this before.” -L. LaChappelle (current freshman) “I want to keep my blog and do more with it!” -M Theis (current freshman)
  8. 8. My Class Site - for Accelerated Freshman English
  9. 9. My Class Site - for Senior Expository Writing
  10. 10. Why Edublogs?! (WordPress for Educators) Blogging with any platform will be beneficial for students. Here’s a handful of reasons I’ ve chosen EduBlogs for the past 3 years: - Very Customizable (has the most widgets offered and countless plugins. Gorgeous themes) - Wordpress is leading blogging platform (over 2 million EduBlogs). . . students will likely use a form of WordPress in future academic/professional endeavors - Fast, reliable, personal customer service
  11. 11. Another reason to like Edublogs. . . User Roles
  12. 12. Beyond the Classroom Walls: Involving Parents
  13. 13. Beyond the Classroom Walls: Connecting Seniors & Freshmen
  14. 14. Beyond the Classroom Walls: QuadBlogging ● ● ● Thanks to Twitter, I just found a way to connect my classroom globally. Just signed up and will let you know results . . Matched with 3 other classes (from London, Australia, etc, based on preferences you place during sign-up). Your class is in this “quad” for four weeks and each week, a different class receives the focus. ● There is another way to connect nationally: Comments4Kids (have not tried it yet)
  15. 15. Reviews
  16. 16. Literary Analysis
  17. 17. Narratives/Editorials
  18. 18. Passion Projects a.k.a. Genius Hour a.k.a. 20% time
  19. 19. Let’s Get Started . . . Go to
  20. 20. Create Your Classroom Site:
  21. 21. Customize!! 1. Under Appearances, choose Theme 2. Change Header, Colors, Static Front Page (what readers see when first landing on your site) . . . . . ETC So much to make your own!!
  22. 22. Creating Student Sites 1. Create each student site individually, in same manner as you created class site 2. Utilize a uniform method for URL addresses (i.e. first name, last initial, 11); create passwords easy to remember (i.e. student school id #) 3. Give doc such as this to introduce students: (See my Google Doc for alternative method for adding students)
  23. 23. Have Students Join Your Class Site In their own dashboard, students search for url of classroom site, request to join, and teacher approves within his/her dashboard.
  24. 24. Add Students to Blog Roll of Class site (to link student blogs)
  25. 25. Time to Write = A First Post! (see Edublogs Video) Add New Post, Type Away . . . . Can add Categories and Tags Can give students a document such as this for help with getting started on posting.
  26. 26. Now… Facilitating Blogs in the Classroom Once your classroom site and student sites are created, click on this Google Doc for help with facilitating and managing assignments and proper online procedures.