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Using Blogs in the Classroom Presenters: Gail Gaetz & Chery Takkunen Education Department
Quotes • It will take a writing revolution to get the emphasis on language arts and communication back to where it should be. • Writing should be taught in all curricular areas. • The amount of time spent writing should be doubled. • National Commission on Writing
Blogs Offer authentic audiences
Blog……word of the year! • Blog • An online journal available on the web • Blogging • The activity of updating a blog • Blogger • A person who blogs
What is a Blog? • Blog is slang for web log • Communication medium • Personal online journal • Focuses on a particular topic or area of interest to the writer
Blogs are a popular cultural phenomenon developed outside of schools. are chronological: Most current postings appear first. offer authentic audiences
Many online free blog websites Websites provide online design templates New bloggers need to register and name the blog site Free blog websites: Blogger Live Journal Xanga How do you create a blog?
Why use a blog? • Provides a space for a writer to consider new ideas while connecting to learning • Provides a paperless way to journal • Allows the use of sharing ideas in a multimedia format • Provides others a way to comment on bloggers ideas
Why blog cont. • Provides an immediate authentic audience • Highly motivating for most learners • Students can engage in course readings, discussions and text in ways that may be difficult through oral discussion • Allows individuals to become active participants
Ideas for Blogs • Possibilities
Where can I found out more about using blogs? • Will Richardson’s Blog • What We’re Doing When We Blog – Meg Hourihan • Center for Technology and Teacher Education’s Blogging Activities Page • A blog about blogs in the classroom
Why? BLOGS: EDU 2500 Communication Arts Methods Course Interdisciplinary course: Language arts, children’s literature, and technology • Management issues • Wanted a running record • Quick turn around of product • Easy to grade: from home or at school • Try a new technology
Example: Journal Question: Book: The Invisible Thread • While reading this book, focus on the element of point of view and moral dilemma presented in the story. • 1. The reader gets the perspective of a Japanese American’s point of view about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. Describe, from Yokshiko’s point of view, what this internment camp was like. Use examples from the story to clarify your response. • 2. The moral dilemma in this story is whether it was right to intern Japanese Americans during WWII. After reading this book, what is your opinion of this decision? Has the book altered your views in any way? If so, what ways?
Responses • Blog Example #1 • Classroom blog • Blog Example #2 • This teacher has class blog on Secret Life of Bees • Blog Example #3 • Students blog about their reaction to course text • Blog Example #4 • Students blog about their response to literature
More • Idioms are fun • Jefferson Bear Blog • Yessenia’s web log • This fifth grade student writes and blogs
Challenges: Teachers and students say… • Students forgot passwords • Wrong addresses • Created new blogs; forgot their old addresses • Couldn’t comment online: used email • However, these issues were temporary and after a couple of weeks this passed
Benefits: Teachers and Students say.. • Easy to manage: No papers • Archives assignments • Peers and teacher can comment online • Students liked them • Easy to access: Example: Management Tip
Things to consider District support Kids NOT giving out personal information Teacher could control and set up blog Students could keep track of work and blog together to share research Online literature circle Supports any subject area
Quote • PPS Intstructional Technology Weblog