Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reflection on Day One

In today's class, you
  • reviewed some technology terminology
  • discussed the standards requiring teachers to use technology
  • used a virtual environment (Wii) for educational purposes
  • discussed cloud computing (Tegrity, Moodle, Google Docs, SkyDrive) as a tool for teachers
  • created an online avatar (Voki)
  • created a classroom Web site (Wix)
  • used a blog (Blogger) for educational purposes
  • discussed the use of screencasting software (Jing) to instruct students
  • created an online presentation (Prezi)
Which of these types of technology do you think you will implement in your own teaching?  How do you plan to utilize it?  How will it affect your students' learning?

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:, 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: