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Online Classroom Collaboration - Blogs and Google Apps DeVaughn Resczenski Sharyland ISD What is a Blog? Short for Web Log

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online classroom collaboration blogs and google apps

Online Classroom Collaboration - Blogs and Google Apps

DeVaughn Resczenski

Sharyland ISD

what is a blog
What is a Blog?
  • Short for Web Log
  • a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog

- Wikipedia

can i get that in plain english
Can I get that in plain English?
  • Common Craft Video
how do people use blogs
How do people use blogs?
  • Online journal
  • To display and discuss art (art log)
  • Photo Blog
  • Video Blogging (vlog)
  • Music (mp3 blog)
  • General Audio (podcasting blog)
free blog software
Free Blog Software
  • Blogger
    • Run by Google
    • (or access through your Google account)
  • WordPress
    • Available through
    • Download from
      • Install on your local servers
free blog software6
Free Blog Software
  • Movable Type
  • B2Evolution
    • Hosted or download and install on server
  • Serendipity
    • Hosted or download and install on server
  • Moodle Blog (
    • Contained within your Moodle class
classroom blog software
Classroom Blog Software
  • 21 Classes
    • Designed for classroom use
    • Dual-Layer system
      • Classroom (outer layer) area
      • Collection of student blogs (inner layer)
    • You can setup class layer as public for assignment notifications, but users must authenticate to see student blogs
personal vs classroom blog
Personal vs. Classroom Blog
  • Personal Blog
    • One person controls all of the content
    • More advanced blogs can require authentication before commenting
      • WordPress allows a public page to display prior to authentication for the main blog
personal vs classroom blog9
Personal vs. Classroom Blog
  • Classroom Blog
    • Student need a method to respond and to interact
    • Students should have their own space to create content
    • Student work must be protected
content control
Content Control
  • Level of control depends on which blog provider/software you choose
  • Methods of control
    • Disallow comments
    • Queue all comments, pending review
    • Only allow comments from authenticated users
building a blog 21classes
Building a Blog (21classes)
  • Browse to:
  • Click on the Sign upbutton
building a blog 21classes12
Building a Blog (21classes)
  • Fill out the registration form.
  • Try and make the blog name something easy to remember, as it will become your address
  • Click Proceed
building a blog 21classes13
Building a Blog (21classes)
  • Complete filling in all of the fields, and click on Set up my portal
building a blog 21classes14
Building a Blog (21classes)

From the Dashboard:

  • Use Layouts to define your class blog and default student blog layout
  • Classroom Homepage allows you to setup the “outer” blog area
  • View Portal allows you to see what visitors and students will see
  • Student Accounts allows you to create and edit your students accts or login as one of your students
building a blog 21classes15
Building a Blog (21classes)
  • Use the Welcome text / about option to edit the welcome page
  • Categories allow you to sort your blog posts (assignments, reviews, etc…)
  • New entry allows you to enter a new post
building a blog 21classes16
Building a Blog (21classes)
  • The Student’s blog settings area allows you to setup how you will handle new material
    • Direct post
    • Teacher review new material and/or comments
  • Review of entries and comments options help to refine that process
    • Makes sure that nothing inappropriate gets posted
    • Requires additional time
decision time
Decision Time!
  • Do I allow my students to self-register, or do I personally create all of their accounts?
  • If you do choose to self-register and your students have e-mail (Gaggle, etc) through a school domain, 21classes will allow you to filter to allow from those addresses only
  • Suggestion – utilize the “approve all new accounts” feature to prevent bots from taking over your site
project ideas
Project Ideas
  • Student journaling
    • Teacher creates a writing prompt on the main classroom page, and students respond to the comment.
    • Good practice to have comments set to blog users only so that you do not run into problems.
project ideas19
Project Ideas
  • Research Projects
    • Students can research material and post it on their personal blog area
    • Other students can verify the research and post comments on the validity of the data
project ideas20
Project Ideas
  • Experiment Log
    • Students can post experiment results to their personal blog area
    • Peers can post comments
google docs
Google Docs
  • Originally titled Google Spreadsheets
  • Now you can create
    • Documents (Word)
    • Spreadsheets (Excel)
    • Presentations (PowerPoint)
    • Forms *New* (InfoPath)
      • Instead of writing to DB, writes to spreadsheet
google docs registration
Google Docs - Registration
  • Simply use your G-Mail account
  • From any Google page, click on the Docs link
google docs cautions
Google Docs – Cautions!
  • When choosing collaborators for your documents, be sure to limit who you invite
  • Anyone invited as a collaborator can change your document
  • If you allow collaborators to invite others, students could invite ANYONE to edit the documents….be careful!
  • Consider using the Viewer option whenever possible, as viewers cannot edit or invite
google docs benefits
Google Docs – Benefits
  • Your students can work together on documents
  • Forms data can be quickly and easily collected
  • Class presentations and rubrics can easily be accessed by students at home
  • Using Google Sites, you can expand projects even more, creating websites
    • Mini-intranet for your users
  • You do not need Google accounts to view docs or send forms, only to edit.
project ideas google docs
Project Ideas – Google Docs
  • Collect Science Experiment data
    • Create a Google Spreadsheet and Form to pull in data. Students only need to fill out form and submit after each experiment.
    • After all data is pulled, simply copy and paste to Excel to create charts, sort data, etc…
      • You can create charts in Google Docs, but it is limited
project ideas google docs26
Project Ideas – Google Docs
  • Classroom Documents
    • Post your classroom documents, rubrics, presentations, etc.
    • Invite your students as viewers
      • You can differentiate here, and only invite students to the documents that apply to them
      • Differs from posting on a class web site, unless you can set permissions on each page
project ideas google docs27
Project Ideas – Google Docs
  • Class Presentation
    • Create a page for each student
    • All students can work on their page simultaneously
    • Class can create a group project in a short time this way
project ideas google docs28
Project Ideas – Google Docs
  • Vocabulary Check
    • Lists of Synonyms and Antonyms
    • Write in the word that matched definition
  • Spelling Lists
    • Place misspelled words, students must correct
  • Fix the problem with a sentence
project ideas google docs29
Project Ideas – Google Docs
  • Quick method to collect data from your students
    • Create a Google Form and have class submit data from their e-mail account
    • Ice Breaker activity
contact information
Contact Information

DeVaughn Resczenski

Sharyland ISD