Thissessionisaimed a teachers NEW tobloggingorthoseconsideringblogging. In thissession, we’regoingto look at:What blogs areWhy use blogs in theclassroom?Howtogetstarted.
ThenPersonal - focusonwriting of a single authorChronological – contentorganised in chronologicalorderPublic – Theauthorpostedhis/herworkonthe Internet forthepublictoseeComments – thepubliccommentedontheauthor’s post.
NowPublic and Private – There can bemultipleauthorson a blogTags (labels) – posts can betagged. Usingthetagsyou can organisethecontentbytopic, author, oranyothermethod.Projects – becauseyou can havemultipleauthors, you can now use a blog forprojectwork.Collaborative – groups of students can use the blog toworktogether.
I’mnotgoingto compare bloggingwitheachtype of social media becausethere are so many – such as Facebook/Tuenti, wikis, websites, nings, twitter, etc. Of course, itdependswhatyouwantto do withyour blog. Butifyoujustwantsomething simple, a blog isthebestthing.For me, theadvantages of blogs is:organised and storedon my blogs so I and my students can easilyrefer back tothemwithouthavingtorememberwhen and wherewedidsomething.setup – no expertiseOrganise – pre builtwidgets/gadgetsfor links, embedding, etc.Privacy – easytoGenerally, you can do thingseasierwith a blog thanwithmanyothertypes of social media. Ifyourbloggingplatformdoesn’thavethefunctionality, there are othergadgets and widgetsyou can use, or link tositessuch as Facebook!all of theother social websites I use can be
Why do teachers use blogs and social media in general?Motivatestudents – ssknowtheirworkisgoingpublic. Try harder, doingsomethingauthentic.Engaging - most, butnotall, studentsenjoyusingtechnology, taskbased – ss are doing.Collaborate – writingtasks, projectsAutonomy – sschecktheirworkbefore pressing thepublishbutton.Connectedclassroom – everything in one place withouthavingtorememberwebsites etc. However, notallstudentshaveaccesstotechnology and anenvironment at home conducivetolearning at home. Parentsmaynotlikethe idea thatstudents “learn” at home ratherthan in theclassroom.PLN – can bepart of your personal learningnetworkalongwithtwitter, facebook, etc.
Teacher – informational, homeworktasks, records, place tocontactoutside of classStudent – projects, online diaries, personalise – ssengage more withtheirown blogClass – compromisebetweentwoabove – studentscollaborate as authorsonthe blog and can post and commentonit. Showcase
helensclassroom.blogspot.com all my blogs link tothis so notrepeating – minimiseadminBlog linksELI linksTeacher LinksWebsitesforStudentsLike a websiteImpressesparentsCoolFCE.blogspot.com1st class blog 3 yearsagochangedesigneveryyearsimpleconnectedclassroominfoforSswho miss classextra activitieslinksspeaking - audiobooT6Blog.blogspot.comConnectedclassroommini projects – writing and reading – usingrubricshelpstoensureteenswriteproperlyshort writingtasks – Intermediateteenshomeworkextra activitieslinksCoolkids.blogspot.comshowcase – easyforthem and parentstofind(petras2.blogspot.com) Splash In! (edublogs)Example of a Secondaryteacher in SpainHas usedforyearsIndicate:Looks good?staticpages at the top of the blog and type of contentHowisthe blog(s) organised?.links tootherwebsites and blogscontent of entriesauthor(s) of entriestypes of activitiespermissions and privacyimages (mention copyright onpublic blogs)
AdvantagesI’vealreadytalkedaboutusefullifeskills, authentictasks, mostkidsliketechnology, taskbasedSkills – teacherneedsbasicskills and shouldspend time learninghowthe blog workstohelpwithtroubleshooting. I findsomestudentsusually pick it up reallyquicklythough and are keentohelpifneededTime – in class and teacher time learningthe blog and setting up activities.Motivation – pairkidswith more motivated and skilledstudents – use “participation” in rubricstoencouragethemto do thetask.Parents – someparentsdon’tallowaccesstocomputerComputeraccess – somekidsmaynothavecomputeraccess at home so ifyou are thinking of the “connectedclassroom” thismaynotbepossible.Lessonplanning– needstoberigorous – ifssfeelout of theirdepthorunsuretheywillquickly lose interest.Technology – can alwaysgowrong – have a backup plan
Here are some of my ideas – but of courseitwilldependontheenvironmentyouwork in so therecouldbeotherfactorsthatyouneedtoconsider.Type of blog – teacher, classorstudentPrivacy and permissionfromparents – youngerlearners and teens – forphotos, email addresses, etc. mustbeprivateifitisgoingtocontainphotos of students.Copyright – onpublic blogs itisimportanttorespect copyrightlawsNameshouldbeeasytoremember.Design and organisation - Howwillyouorganiseeverything – chronological, topic, skills? Whatwillit look like? – spendsome time playingwithdesignstomakeitunique. Havestudentsdesignit?Class time – dependsonhowmuchyou are abletoorwanttospend and thetypes of projectsyouwantto do. Ifyou are usingitforhomework and links tootherresources, classroom time isminimal. Project workwould mean more time tobededicatedtoit.Training – youngstudents (in my opinion) are not digital nativesbutmostlearnquickly. Theteachermayneedtospendsome time teachingstudentsbasiclanguage and technicalskills. Use the more experiencedstudentstohelp!Assessment– use rubricstoencouragestudentstoparticipate and complete to a standard. Studentsoftenthinkthey are texting and don’tthinkaboutgrammar and spelling and punctuation!Teacher time – afterinitalsetup, whichmightincludesetting up email accounts and assigningauthor and readingpermissionsitwilldependonwhattype of blog and whatitisusedfor. Generally, itisnotmuch more thantakinglots of photocopiesforhomeworkortyping up anactivity in Word.Start Small – startwith simple activitiessuch as postinginteresting links. Forstudents, getthemtocommenton a video or a picture.
Traineesdiscusshowtokeepthemselvesmotivated and thestudentsmotivated once a blog has been set up.Compare trainees ideas to ideas onslideshow.Information - Teacherpostsimportantinformationsuch as exam dates and otherupcomingevents. Students and teacherhave a central place tofindinformation.Links - Teachers can use blogs tocreate links tofrequentlyused online resources, selfcreated online resources, links todictionaries, etc.Mini ProjectsShort writingtasksto introduce theblogging rules and etiquette – agree/disagreewith a statementCommentsWriteaboutyourweekend (using new vocabulary/grammarstructures)Slowlybuild up studentconfidence – ifit’s a class blog, encouragethemto post aboutanythinginteresting.Use it! - Haveitonscreen at thebeginning of theclasswithanoutlinelesson plan – couldalsobeusedbyabsentstudentstokeep up to date withclasswork. Use it as much as possible in classtoincorporateitintoyour normal teaching.
Lookingahead – the blog willconstantlyevolve. Whencreating a blog, thinkabout:PlanReuse - Initiallysetting up yourfirst blog can take a little time. But once itissetupittakes no longerthanmakingphotocopies of activitiesorwriting up instructions. Onegreatadvantage of using a blog isthat once thecontentisonthe blog, it’sthereforever so you can reuseit. Youdon’tevenneedtocreate new blogs everyyearfor new classes. Ifyouhavethesamelevelclass, you can importthedesign and contentfromone blog intoanother blog (thendeleteanycontentyoudon’twant in the new blog). Thisis a simple waytoreusematerials and designsonyour blogs. Or, ifyouonlywantanactivityonanother blog, simplycreate a link tothatactivity, orcopy and paste itintotheother blog.Bloggerisalwayscoming up withnew featuresthatmake more thingspossible, easier, more attractive, etc.New ideasforusing blogs alwayscoming up. Letthestudentsgetinvolved. Share withcolleagues.OrganiseOrganisecontent and blogs so thatit can befoundeasily in thefuture.