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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’
Let’s Connect and Collaborate:
“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)
Digital Writing and Common Core
Bottom line: The CCSS call for more literacy activities across the curriculum. A blog serves as a tool to facilitate those
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.
What Others Say
What I Have Learned . . .
Students are mindful of their online presence. “Textspeak” habits are
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
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)
What I’ve Observed . . .
My students say:
~ Students are excited to write!
“Writing is fun again!” - R. Brown
~ Students take greater care with
purpose and tone.
~ Students are writing MORE!
~ Students are motivated to complete
“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)
My Class Site - for Accelerated Freshman English
My Class Site - for Senior Expository Writing
(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
- Fast, reliable, personal customer service
Another reason to like Edublogs. . . User Roles
Beyond the Classroom Walls: Involving Parents
Beyond the Classroom Walls: Connecting Seniors & Freshmen
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)
a.k.a. Genius Hour
a.k.a. 20% time
Let’s Get Started . . . Go to EduBlogs.org
Create Your Classroom Site:
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!!
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)
Have Students Join Your Class Site
In their own
for url of
request to join,
Add Students to Blog Roll of Class site
(to link student blogs)
Time to Write = A First Post! (see Edublogs Video)
Away . . . .
such as this
for help with
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.