Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Using a Blog in the Classroom

Some teachers use a blog as an online "discussion room," where their students go to share their thoughts and respond to their classmates' ideas.  A teacher may post a discussion topic or question to which students write their responses, and students may be asked to write in reaction to their peers' responses, too.  This approach to blogging works well with issues or matters of opinion: having students react to a novel that they're reading, or to a political issue, or to current events in the world of science or technology, etc.

Some teachers use a blog as an online newsletter, often intended for students and their parents to read.  An elementary teacher may assign one student each day to write a blog post that summarizes that day's classroom activities, giving students practical experience writing for a real audience: the children's parents, who can log on at home and read about their kids' day at school.  Or a teacher him-/herself could write about classroom events, share announcements and reminders, post descriptions of assignments, share links to online resources to help with homework, etc.

Some teachers use a blog as a means of interacting with other teachers.  Teachers can post lesson ideas or teaching-related questions and get feedback from other teachers reading that blog.

To practice that last use of blogging, please do two things:

FIRST, read a teacher's blog or a teaching-related blog and write a comment on this blog post that
  1. names the blog that you read,
  2. shares its URL [or Web address: www.imoberg.com, for example],
  3. describes it,
  4. and offers your perspective on its content: for whom it would be useful, how to make use of that blog, etc.
SECOND, read through the other comments on this blog post (the comments left by the other participants in this room today) and respond to at least one of them.  You could share your thoughts about something that the writer has mentioned, or you could skim the blog that the writer is writing about and give your own opinion of it.

You could use your favorite search engine (e.g., Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.) to look for a blog, or you could select one from one of these sources:

26 comments:

Kevin Moberg said...

I will leave the first comment to give an example for you to follow for the "FIRST" part of the exercise and to provide you with something to comment on if you're the first person to work on the "SECOND" part of the exercise.

I read a blog called The History Channel This Is Not, found at http://nkogan.wordpress.com/.

This blogger is a secondary social studies teacher who uses the blog to share his teaching ideas and reflections on what has worked when teaching history to his own students. He shares a lot of history-related photos as well as links to online resources related to certain wars or time periods, etc.

He also shares recommendations for various types of technology that he has found handy when teaching. For example, he provides screen images from his own computer to show how he has used a certain type of software to create a map. He also uses software that allows him to share documents (e.g., handouts from his courses) that can be viewed directly within the blog without needing to be downloaded.

His blog would appeal to a social studies teacher interested in taking advantage of the numerous resources that exist beyond a hard-copy textbook. Any teacher curious about the options for technology use when teaching would find his blog useful, too.

Krissy said...

I read Free Technology for Teachers, found at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ Not only does it inform me of cutting edge technology, but it is usually all free! And this one is specifically directed at educational issues.

Adam said...

I read about Food Science: Chocolate Pop Rocks at http://www.sciencefix.com and i thought that it was pretty neat experiment about making your own pop rocks.

Krissy said...

Another great blog is http://www.commoncraft.com/blog it is a blog notifying it's readers of upcoming videos that Common Craft is producing. Common Craft produces short informational videos that do a wonderful job of explaining the newest technologies, i.e. blogs, twitter, social media, social bookmarking, etc. Great for anyone that doesn't quite understand what the newest craze it just yet.

Denise said...

I read the blog PreKinders at http://prekinders.com/blog/ She has really great ideas that would be great for the beginning of the year and/or working with the students who are not at grade level. She also supplies some great printables!

Chris said...

http://bettyb.teacherlingo.com/

Betty at the above blog likes to give classroom items away for sharing classroom stories.

kay said...

I read an article from a Scientist at Yale. The article was about mRNA.

Betty said...

I read substitue teacher www.blogspot.com. it talked about how students commente to subs about....ya but the teacher doesn't do it that way....I always tell the kids the sub will not teach like me....use your manners.

KimKuhn said...

I used the blog at educationonaplate.wordpress.com It was written by a very opinionated writer, but discussed some issues that frustrate teachers.

Connie Horner Gaebe said...

Connie looked at http://dbast.edublogs.org/ It called:Reading: Mrs. Bast: A great blog about how you can help children become life long book lovers. Mrs. Bast is currently a teacher at Georgetown, servicing 1st grade and 3rd grade students. I found the link to alphabet games very usefull for my upcoming kindergarten year.

Chuck said...

abcde.teachfocus.org/2011/07/06/summer-and-staying-connected-to-teaching/. This blog reminds us how summer is a great way to learn new things and get refreshed in our profession.

Anonymous said...

I read the article about the math game using the ice cream truck.

KimKuhn said...

Adam-I appreciated you post about the pop rocks. I will check it out as we like to do food experiments in class.

Lesli said...

The blog I read was called A Year of Reading. http://readingyear.blogspot.com/
This a great blog that reviews books.

Betty said...

Krissy I like your Free technology for teachers...yes because it is free!!

chris said...

This question is for Adam, Do you already make pop rocks in your classroom? Do the students get to eat them?

Chuck said...

Chris, what kind of stories do students mainly tell Betty?

Paige said...

I read the website http://sciencefix.com. This is a really neat website that gives science teachers demonstrations that can be used in the classroom, and also allows teachers to share their demonstrations for others to use. This website includes demonstrations for almost any science class.

kari said...

the regurgitated alpha bits caught my eye. wonder why? my brain needed a break. nonsense talk
I should have went to a differ blog.

http://regurgitatedalphabits.blogspot.com/

Edna Lee initiated the blog

kay said...

The communication system for blogging is a unique way to commuicate with others. This would work for updates with students.

Chuck said...

Adam, why did you take my spot this mourning?

Jan said...

I read the blog "It's not all flowers and sausages" at blogspot.com, in the list of top 50 blogs by elementary educators. This blog must have been written in April, just before or after the state testing time. The blogger was annoyed with all the attention given to the tests and also to teachers and administrators who find ways to cheat on the state tests. I agree with this teacher that I spend too much time in the classroom preparing for "THE tests", however, it forces me to move forward in my math class, rather than to dwell for too long on one specific topic.
This blog would be useful for teachers wanting to unwind from the stresses of the day, especially if an isolated or rural teacher doesn't have any other peers to unwind with.

Adam said...

This is for Chuck, I am sorry about taking your spot.

Connie Horner Gaebe said...

Krisssy- Liked the google tutorials for this site www.freetech4teachers.com/- I also found a great preprimer game to play.

Kathleen said...

I viewed the "How To DO 11 Techy Things in the New School Year" and this give some eBooks to read with new ideas. It is located at http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ and it has a wide varied of links.
This give resources from K-12 divided in groupings.

Unknown said...

Looks like a site I would like to check out.