Various technologies can be used to make thinking visible. We began exploring blogging within this context, but soon it became apparent that there were more reasons to encourage student blogging than just visible thinking. Blogging allows students to create, rather than just consume. It affords them the opportunity to collaborate and create a community, among other advantages.
This session will look at the power of blogging, demonstrate how blogging can be used across various grades, levels and subjects, and discuss the practical issues of student blogging.
Questions we will discuss include: How can you get students to buy-in? How can you get students to blog regularly over the course of a semester? How can you evaluate student blogs? How can you avoid pitfalls?
a way of getting thinking out there so we could talk about it
allows students to choose what they are going to write about, also will give them a real audience for the first time. Gives students a community that can continue outside of school.
Types to use – Blogger, edublogs, wordpress – all vary in level of difficulty
single or multi-blogs – which to use?
One blog – easy for the teacher to see all comments at one time. Or, you can give a Blogger account to each student so they can customize the blog.
- having students take it seriously – at first, kids may not take this seriously have to be taught this as well. Needs to be addressed
- developing rich posts and comments – you need to write so that people can respond – students need to be taught how to do this.
- lack of ownership (multi-author blog) – second year, each student set up their own blog and they needed to comment on what was going on in class. Objective – to get the students to communicate. When they get to write about something they are interested in the quality of the posts get better.
- rigidity (seen as solely a classroom activity) – if set up as a classroom activity students will not blog on their own
- lack of feedback – kids were not getting real feedback from others in school or out of school #comments4kids on twitter can encourage people to respond
- instructions for setting up – students need to have explicit instructions on how to set the blog
- label/tag – students need to get used to making multiple tags including their name so that you can find the writer
- marking – blog post rubrics available – important to have this.
interesting point – you can’t force blogging, it comes and it goes, so how can we do this for the students? Lisa’s blog
where to next – the teachers will continue with it! The teachers have blogged their experiences on their own blogs.
Here is their site for further information – http://goo.gl/GTtfTB
Sample rubric for assessing blogs
- Blogs and Wikis as Classroom Tools (tech4fa.wordpress.com)
- Three Ways My Students Blog and Why It’s AWESOME (threeteacherstalk.wordpress.com)
- To Blog or to Rant: Some Questions about Audience and Voice in Student Blog Posts (twinada.wordpress.com)
- This Week in Ontario Edublogs (dougpete.wordpress.com)