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Why Blog?

Wednesday, 2/24/2010 (8:00-9:00am) Cocoa Suites 4/5
Blogs provide a 21st Century twist to the "ticket-out-the-door" strategy. This session will focus on ways to use online blogging conversations to create community and ensure that all students are learning. Discover free blogging tools and learn to use blogging as an effective classroom tool.


















Blogging in Education

 WHAT?     WHY?  HOW?
Blog is a shortened word for weblog and can be described as an online diary or journal. When describing blogging to teachers and students, I explain blog posts to be the opinions and/or reflections of the writer. Generally, blog posts reference other posts or online resources by linking back. Readers of a blog post are invited to respond by commenting.  Blogging permits the author to share his/her point of view with a wide audience. Blogging is writing! When an author writes, the author is forced to think more carefully about the content of the postings. This reflection is often missing in educational activities in the rush to get through material.  Locate an online service and set up a blog. See below for some options. An advanced user may prefer to contact a host site to host a blog to have more control over setup and ads.

Ways to use Blogging (LFS)

  • Reflect, Write, Tell
  • KWL
  • Exit Slip
  • Journal
  • Learning Logs
  • Reflection Questions
  • The Important Thing
  • ePortfolio

Reasons to Use Blogging

Here is a list of blog integration ideas from Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (Will Richardson), pages 40-42.

You can encourage your students to blog . . .
  • their reactions to thought-provoking questions
  • their reactions to photos and content you post
  • journal entries
  • results of surveys they carry out as part of a class unit
  • their homework
  • their ideas and opinions about topics discussed in class
You can have your students create their own blogs to . . .

  • learn how to blog
  • complete class writing assignments
  • create an ongoing portfolio of samples of their writing]
  • express their opinions on topics you are studying in class
  • write comments, opinions, or questions on daily news items or issues of interest
  • discuss activities they did in class and tell what they think about them
  • write about class topics, using newly learned vocabulary words and idioms
  • showcase their best writing pieces
You might start a class blog to . . .
  • post class-related information such as calendars, events, homework assignments, and other pertinent class information
  • post assignments based on literature readings and have students respond on their own blogs, creating a kind of portfolio of their work
  • communicate with parents
  • post prompts for writing
  • provide examples of classwork, vocabulary activities, or grammar games
  • provide online readings for your students to read and react to
  • gather and organize Internet resources for a specific course, providing links to appropriate sites and annotating the links as to what is relevant about them
  • post photos and comment on class activities
  • invite student comments or postings on issues in order to give them a writing voice
  • publish examples of good student writing
  • showcase student art, poetry, and creative stories
  • create a dynamic teaching site, posting not only class-related information, but also activities, discussion topics, links to additional information about topics they are studying in class, and readings to inspire learning
  • create a literature circle (where groups of students read and discuss the same book)
  • create on online book club
  • make use of the commenting feature to have students publish messages on topics being used to develop language skills
  • ask students to create their own individual course blogs, where they can post their own ideas, reactions, and written work
  • post tasks to carry out project-based learning tasks with students
  • build a class newsletter, using student-written articles and photos they take
  • link your class with another class somewhere in the world
You can also ask your class to create a shared blog to . . .
  • complete project work in small groups, assigning each group a different task
  • showcase products of project-based learning
  • complete a WebQuest
Maybe read this.

Blogging Tools

Kidblog

Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.

Weebly

Easily create a classroom website & blog, manage your students' accounts, accept homework assignments online, and keep parents up to date.

21Classes

Classroom BlogPortals can bring today's students into the world of web publishing at anytime and almost from anywhere. A class can have its own portal, where all students will have their own blog. It can motivate stronger students to help others and strengthen the interaction between students. They can also give students a platform to discuss topics covered in class outside of school.

21Classes helps you to aggregate your students' individual and independent blogs.

Wordpress

WordPress is a state-of-the-art semantic personal publishing platform with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability. Wordpress offers free blogs and allows for multiple contributors to a single blog. Check out the wordpress blog about classroom blogs.

SchoolBlog

SchoolBlog is a blogging service offered by ePals. A SchoolBlog account must first be established and then individual SchoolBlogs are created by contacting staff at ePals. SchoolBlogs can be kept private or made public. Educators can create parent accounts to extend the audience for students, if keeping the blog private.

Edublogs

Edublogs is a blogging service based on Wordpress, that offers free blogs, allows for multiple contributors and even creation of student blogs under a teacher blog. Edublogs offers many themes and is very customizeable. Edublogs recently began inserting in-line advertisements in blogs that are not Edublogs Supporters ($25). School Districts can purchase an Edublogs Campus account to allow for creater control and customization.
Blogger is Google's blogging tool. Users can easily create a blogger blog once they have an established Google account. There is some concern over the ability to click Next Blog in the Blogger navigation bar, but that can be edited out (check here).


Assessing Blogs

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Summarize with Blogging





Blogging Guide



Resource Links


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References

Some content remixed from Jen Dorman's Blog Workshop Wiki
Image from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anniemole/85515856/sizes/o/
Subpages (1): Blogging Ideas
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