Blogs in the Classroom

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What Blogs Have You Created?

Comment to this post, letting us know your blog address!


Monday, June 26, 2006

Are We Creating "Empty Children"?

Microsoft's Empty Children

We Need to Find Ways to Authentically Engage Students

We could...

Increase use of project-based learning

Attach learning to students’ lives

Provide real world application, including global communication skills

Increase the audience of student products to include more than teacher-parent

A blog can aid in doing all of these!

What Is A Blog?

Blog is the shortened term for “weblog”

Blogs are organized by postings made in reverse-chronological order and are usually short, focused writings

A blog can be a personal journal or collaboration of ideas from a group about a topic

Will Richardson on Blogs...

Will Richardson's Video on Student Blogging

What Does An Educational Blog Look Like?

Educational Philosophy Blog:
Konrad Glogowski (A journal of educational beliefs and experiences)
“…it is our responsibility not to protect students from the online world but to use its networked texts to develop critical readers, proficient at navigating the digital domain and its many connections and correspondences.”

An Upper Level Math Blog:
Darren Kuropatwa
“An interactive learning ecology for students and parents in my Pre-Cal 40S class”

A High School Literature Blog
Will Richardson
“Welcome to our weblog/reader's guide for The Secret Life of Bees.”
As students studied this book, the author actually responded to their questions!!!! What student wouldn’t want to hear from an author over their teacher? (no offense!)

A Middle School Blog:
Clarence Fisher
“all the joy of junior high in one small package....”
A middle school blog that weaves a massive amount of global awareness into a regular junior high curriculum (this is an updated blog moved from here).

An Honor's Biology Blog:
Randall Fullington
An Alabama teacher’s honors biology blog
Check out the podcast students created after interviewing World renowned reptile expert form the National Geographic Channel, Dr. Brady Barr!
Randall is an accomplished Alabama teacher and an Alabama Best Practices Center 21st Century Fellow!

A Senior English Blog:
Brandi Caldwell
“for the love of our subject, our students, and our desire to make a change”
teaches senior English and Debate/Forensics at Mountain Brook High School and is also an Alabama Best Practices Center 21st Century Fellow!

An Elementary Blog:
Who says elementary students can't blog?
Anne Davis at J.H. House Elementary involves her elementary students in blogging. Check out posts from Australia and Canada!

Why Should I Use Blogs In My Classroom?

A. Pedagogical reasons
21st Century Learning Skills
Web contributors and not just consumers
Opening the doors of the classroom into the world
Developing an ability to communicate responsibly and globally
B. Engagement
Blogs can promote critical and analytical thinking
Blogging can be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and reflective thinking
Blogs promote communication and interaction
Blogging is a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information and the skills to deal with that information
Blogs provide an authentic audience that can include subject authorities or experts

A Real Blogger Reflects

Darren Kuropatwa brilliantly reflects on his blogging process. He uses his blog called A Difference to talk about blogging and to inspire educators to try new technology tools. In this post titled "A New Movement", Darren uses a table to show how his blogging process has evolved. He talks about his successes and things he will do differently in the future. He can be an inspiration because of his willingness to put his experience out there for those of us who want to follow his steps. Thanks Darren!

How do you use the blog?

That's what attracts me: bringing together the serious academic business inside the classroom with the dynamic and often creative world they inhabit outside the classroom via their computers and cell phones—a world connected to their families and friends in extended communities. Learning is, after all, intensely social, and blogs as social software are all about connecting and communicating.

"This Time, It's Personal: Elevating Creative Discourse Through Student Blogs"

By Barbara Ganley

Maybe you are new to the Blogosphere. Maybe you are a beginner or an advanced blogger. Why do you feel that blogging has a place in the classroom? How are you using it or thinking of using it with your classes? Be sure to tell what grade level and/or subject you teach.

Mrs. Roberts' 8th Grade Blogs: Writing on a Blog vs. journals

Mrs. Roberts' 8th Grade Blogs: Writing on a Blog vs. journals

Other applications

The blog is great for the classroom. Students enjoy being web composers and not just consumers. Have you seen or thought of other applications for blogging in education? In your school, community, circle of peers; have you seen or thought of a way that blogs can make an impact? Share your ideas here. Don't forget to include links of your own or those that you find interesting.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Real World... Real Life

When you bring blogs into your courses—at least the way I am talking about—you have to move in new directions. There’s no choice but to embrace a connected, collaborative learning model, one that puts the students and the subject matter in direct contact with one another within a real-world context. We blogging teachers give up a whole lot of control. Authority shifts from the teacher in the center to the entire group in a noded network. You cannot always predict outcomes—what kids will write on the blogs, what they will learn, how the chemistry of the learning group and the interaction with the outside world will contribute to the experience. How terrifying, how risky—how like life.

June 02, 2006

"At the UK's First Edublogging Conference: My Talk"
Barbara Ganley

How do you feel about the loss of control that blogging will require? Do you feel this is "real life" education?

Safety Safety Safety

We must educate our kids about the dangers on the internet, not shield them from those dangers. If parents and teachers don't work together to educate students about the internet, who will?
Blogging will require rules and supervision.
Stephen Lazar has created a lesson plan on How To Blog
Bud the Teacher and Darren Kuropatwa have excellent guidelines for blogging.
Parents must be included. Bud the Teacher has an excellent springboard for ideas on how to include parents on his wiki.
Know that problems will arise. Kristin, a blogging teacher, is working through her problems here.
Also know that blog hosting sites are willing to help. Find the site that can provide what you need. Ask them how you can remove external links and/or ads from your blog.

Deleting Online Predators Act ( H. R. 5319)

Filter a website and you protect a student for a day.

Educate students about online safety in a real world environment and you protect your child for a lifetime.

Christopher Harris

Deleting Online Predators Act ( H. R. 5319) or D.O.P.A. is a danger to blogging and social networking.

I am for keeping our children safe from predators, but the wording of this bill seems to open up a censorship can of worms that reminds me of book burnings.

Random meandering...
Is it just a coincidence that the drug DOPA is the substitute form of "dopamine" which is made in the central nervous system and acts as a chemical messenger similar to adrenaline? Dopamine affects brain processes that control movement, emotional response, and ability to experience pleasure and pain. Dopa is given to patients that have trouble producing this substance. We as a nation are now going to administer the "proper bill" to force any library receiving federal funds to block and filter social networking sites. Just when we think we have found something to hook our students back into writing, reflection, and freedom of thought; here is the government ready to pounce on the whole lot rather than spend time and money educating our nation. Scare a nation rather than educate them.

What do you think? If you want to blog, you will have to defend it and deal with the filtering issues that go along with it. Is it worth it? What do you think about this bill? Is it overkill, about time, or not an issue?

More grading?

If you're students are like mine, then they want to know "How much is this assignemnt worth?" or "Will this be graded?"
Here are some great grading considerations.....
Bernie Heidkamp's class requirements
San Diego State University's Blogging Rubric
Mr. Hodgson's Rubistar Rubric for Blogging

Are Basic Blogs Too Boring?

Spice them up with:

Photos/Picture Slideshows (images must be stored on a site such as Flickr and assimilated on a site such as Slideroll, if you are planning to use a blog not tied to your network)

Video and/or Podcasts (casts must be hosted on a site similar to PodOMatic, if you are planning to use a blog not tied to your network)

Brandi Caldwell’s Castopia provides examples of video blogging and podcasts created by students last school year