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Using Blogs in the Classroom

Posted 07-13-2011 at 09:57 AM by Mariely

We've all heard of blogs, read blogs, and maybe even written one too, but how can these online interactive journals be used in the classrom? I've recently sat down to further ponder this question. Wait 'til you see what I've come up with.

To start, I initially thought about using a classroom blog a few years ago but that idea fizzled away due to lack of planning on my part. In the end it was a flop and I forgot about it entirely until recently.

There I was making updates to a few pages on my website when I saw the link to my old classroom blog. I looked at it and what I saw was pretty sad. There were only two entries posted and a few comments from three years ago. I did think about ditching the entire idea and forgetting about the blog, but then I remembered that the original idea to use it was brilliant. So I decided to really take time and decide how I would use it, what changes I would make, and how would I introduce it to students and parents.

As a result of all of this, I did some research on how other teachers use blogs in their classrooms and what technology experts have to say about the benefits of using them with students. The end product of all my research and findings was the document I am providing below to all who read this post. I also decided to change blog providers and recreate a new refreshed classroom blog.

In a nutshell, I plan on being the moderator of the blog and writing posts for students to respond to with comments, thoughts, feedback, questions, etc. Students may reply to these posts during class time or it may be assigned for homework. Here are some examples of the types of posts I will have students respond to:

Reading Response
Post questions about literature we are reading in class and ask students to post their answers, opinions, and questions as part of an extension from class learning.

Writing Enrichment
Post information about a writing skill we learned in class and have students provide their own example of that writing skill. For example: If I'm teaching about using stronger verbs in their writing, I might write a sentence using weak verbs and have students reply to the post with a revised version of the sentence using stronger verbs. Another example would be to have students practice writing a great beginning to a given topic.

Math Practice
Post a review of a skill learned in math during the week and have students reply by writing their own problems with solutions using that skill.

Science and Social Studies Extensions
Post notes on a scientific or social studies topic learned in class and have students reflect through their posts.

Other teachers of older students actually have each student create a blog where they are encouraged to post school-related topics as an extension of classroom learning.

Here are some places that offer free classroom blogs:

www.blogger.com
I had my previous blog with blogger but chose to move it to wordpress because the "Next Blog" link on the top toolbar may sometimes lead students and/or parents to inappropriate blogs.

www.wordpress.com
I use this site for my current classroom blog.

www. edu blogs . org (without spaces)
This site specializes on blogs for students and teachers. "It's safe, easy, and secure."

A NOTE ABOUT SAFETY

It's important to review your district's guidelines on acceptable use policies regarding the use of school-wide computer networks and the Internet. You should also pay close attention to what your district's guidelines say about displaying student work online and take the necessary steps to secure parental permission before using a classroom room in a participatory manner.

It's also important to teach students about online safety and never revealing any personal information about themselves through their comments. Students should only use first names or nicknames, NO LAST NAMES! In addition, students should also be taught about respecting other people's privacy and rights when writing posts or comments to the blog.

I've included more information about online safety as well as a list of Blogging Rules and a Blogging Permission Slip to give to parents in the document found below.

I hope this post has given you information on how to effectively incorporate the use of blogs in your classrooms. I can't wait to launch my new classroom bog this upcoming school year and have students get motivated about participating in this online collaborative tool.
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File Type: pdf Using.Blogs.in.the.Classroom.pdf (414.9 KB, 741 views)
Posted in Teaching Related , Technology
Comments 8

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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    KitePilot's Avatar

    Thanks!

    Thank you for sharing your document. I would like to start a classroom blog but don't know if this is the year. I am moving to third grade after teaching first for what seems like forever! Maybe I will follow yours this year to see how it is working.
    Posted 07-13-2011 at 02:15 PM by KitePilot KitePilot is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    KitePilot

    I know exactly what you mean and completely understand why you would want to wait. We'll see how my year goes with my classroom blog. I can't wait to introduce it to my students and parents and see how they respond to it. Thanks for your comment.
    Posted 07-13-2011 at 06:53 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  3. Old Comment
    booklady57's Avatar

    Thanks!

    Thanks for sharing your insights and document. I have been playing around with the idea, but haven't worked out the details yet. You gave me some great blogs to look at for ideas!
    Posted 07-17-2011 at 06:12 PM by booklady57 booklady57 is offline
  4. Old Comment

    blog

    Thank you so much for all of this work! I have never used blogs in the classroom before, but this really makes me want to try it
    Posted 07-18-2011 at 05:11 PM by mjher mjher is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Wonderful

    I'm so happy to see that this blog post has inspired some of you to look into using blogs in the classroom. Would love to see how everyone does during the year with their blogs if you incorporate them. Best of luck to you all.
    Posted 07-21-2011 at 05:35 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline
  6. Old Comment
    cooper5's Avatar

    Thanks for your research!

    I was wondering if you looked at Edmodo. I've heard good things about that site for blogging. Is Wordpress better? I want to use it for reader response and I'd like my students to respond to me AND to other students' posts so we could get a real discussion going but not sure which one will do that. Any info will be appreciated
    Posted 07-26-2011 at 05:39 AM by cooper5 cooper5 is offline
  7. Old Comment

    My student's literature blogs

    I have 4 different lit circle groups going at a time. With our district's green initiative it was imperative to me to try and use blogs. I use Ikeepbookmarks.com as the hub for all tech things I use. In my ikeepbookmark's page I have several folders in the reading section for each reading group. There they have the link to the blog. It was really easy once I showed them how to get to it from an laptop. Here is the link to one of the blogs:

    http://readinggroupa.blogspot.com/se...&max-results=7
    Posted 07-29-2011 at 06:33 PM by clawt5 clawt5 is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Mariely's Avatar

    Edmodo

    I have not heard of Edmodo but will definitely look into it. I'm not sure how great WordPress is for a classroom blog but I will be trying it out for the first time this year. I will definitely post how it goes during the year.

    Thanks for your posts!
    Posted 07-31-2011 at 03:25 PM by Mariely Mariely is offline
 


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