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Blogs & Wikis. STAT21 & ESA2 September 29 th , 2009. ESA Region 2. Learning Targets. Learn K-12 applications for using blogs & wikis Create a blog & a wiki. Learn the basics of these applications.

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blogs wikis

Blogs & Wikis


September 29th, 2009

ESA Region 2

learning targets
Learning Targets

Learn K-12 applications for using blogs & wikis

Create a blog & a wiki. Learn the basics of these applications.

Be able to identify the differences between blogs & wikis. Know which application to use to support your instruction.

when it comes to technology
When it comes to technology….

“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

21 st century skills
21st Century Skills

Communication and collaboration

Creativity & innovation

ICT Literacy (information, communication & technology)


The sum of human knowledge

From Hawaiian wiki-wiki, which means “quick”

First Wiki was created in 1995

A Website where anyone can edit anything anytime they want

2004 indian ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake

76 word post on Wikipedia appeared 9 hours after the earthquake

24 hours later: 400 edits & 3000 words

48 hours later: 1200 edits & 6500 words

6 months later: 7000 edits & 7200 words

The power of the collective human knowledge!

if anyone can change it how can it be reliable
If anyone can change it, how can it be reliable?

There are vastly more editors who want to make it right than those who want to make it wrong

Alex Halavais experiment: 13 errors on various posts were all corrected within 2 hours (Halavais, 2004).

Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple, has called Wikipedia one of the most accurate encyclopedias in the world (

safety issues what about vandalism
Safety Issues – what about vandalism?

Each page on a Wiki has a “history” tab

Easily revert back to a previous page version

You may want to monitor wiki entries as a group (Wikipedia)

Giving students editorial control can instill a sense of responsibility and ownership

Wiki projects typically work best when teachers let students manage the content on the site

Some wiki sites feature password & login systems – edits may be restricted to “members only”

the wiki revolution
The Wiki Revolution







And on, and on, and on

why wikis
Why Wikis?

Collaborative authoring tool (21st century skills)

Web based, can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection (web 2.0)

May be student directed or teacher directed

Peer editing and writing


the pedagogy of wikis
The pedagogy of Wikis

Students publish content, develop collaborative skills

Students have to read critically to find areas where information is missing or disorganized

Students negotiate with others to agree on correctness, meaning, relevance, and more

Student begin to teach each other!


Edutopia Video

Even though the writing is not their own, they have to take it as their own because they have the ability to edit and make it better – this is a huge shift.

wikis in the classroom
Wikis in the Classroom

Online texts for curriculum

Resource to showcase best practices

Use amongst teachers or district to share information

Students create their own wikipedia (future classes may edit)

A multicultural cookbook

wiki examples
Wiki Examples

Collaborative storytelling

Kids teaching

supplemental information

how might you use a wiki
How might you use a Wiki?

Discuss with a partner some ideas you have for using a Wiki in your classroom

the wiki prayer
The Wiki Prayer

Please, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,

The courage to edit the pages I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference

let s get started
Let’s get started!


Short for Weblog

First blog(s) were created around 1997

(CNET, March 20, 2007)

Two new blogs are now created every second

You can create a blog in under a minute!

why blog
Why Blog?

Students write better when they have a real audience

Promote open dialogue where students share knowledge and reflect on a topic

Combines the best of solitary reflection & social interaction

Powerful medium for increasing access & exposure to quality information

ELL Students

blogging across content areas

Communicate with parents using a blog

the pedagogy of weblogs
The pedagogy of Weblogs

Truly a constructivist tool

Can expand the walls of the classroom

Blogs archive learning (facilitates reflection and metacognitive analysis)

Democratic tool that supports different learning styles

Enhances the development of expertise on a topic

Teaches students new literacies (research, organize, synthesize)

blogging across the curriculum
Science experiments run concurrently with different sites around the globe (Epals)

Language students (and Ell) can create conversations with native speakers

Phys Ed can log and analyze their workouts/diets

History students can construct sites for ancient civilization/conflict study

Blogging across the curriculum
examples of school blogs
Examples of School Blogs

Elementary school publishing

Student journals

Teachers Communicate with parents

Daily chronicles of classroom

Community activism

what ideas do you have for using blogs in your classroom
What ideas do you have for using blogs in your classroom?

Find a partner – discuss how you would like to use a blog

Test it out by placing your ideas on

The following blog:

blogging is conversation
Blogging is conversation

Blogging Is…

Blogging isn’t…

Links with analysis

Reflective, metacognitive writing on practice without links/commenting

Links with analysis & synthesis that show a deep understanding of the content being linked to

Extended analysis & synthesis over a long period of time (builds on previous posts & links)

Posting assignments

Journaling (this is what I did today)

Posting links

introducing blogs to students
Introducing blogs to students

Elementary: (Teachers may need to do the writing) Ask authors, scientists, politicians, parents to join into conversations about ideas. Students can ask questions and reflect on answers.

Middle School: Students as “experts” on topics – compare and reflect. Structure ways to include reader response

High School: Extended studies and reflections upon a topic. Incorporate feedback from readers, synthesize information from a # of different sources, advance new interpretations of the topic

evaluating blogs
Evaluating Blogs

Even the New York Times can get it wrong

Bloggers will fact check your ____! (The Dan Rather incident)

How do you tell what is reliable when essentially every source can be incorrect?

Blogs are essentially unedited content

evaluating blogs1
Evaluating Blogs

Find out about the author

Who owns the site? ( - type in URL , how many links?

Take a look at the author’s blogroll (the list of blogs the blogger links to)

Find out as much as you can about the blogger’s personal agenda (read through other posts)

Do they seem credible? Is there an obvious political bias? Is something being bought or sold? Are others commenting?

classroom uses of weblogs more ideas
Classroom uses of Weblogs (more ideas…)

Reflective/Journal Blog

Class Blogs

Reflect upon your teaching experiences

Keep a log of teacher training experiences

Provide some teaching tips for other teachers

Describe how you use a technology in your own class

Explore important teaching and learning issues

Write about something you learned from another teacher

Post class-related information such as calendars, events, homework, etc.

Communicate with parents

Post prompts for writing

Provide examples of classwork

Create an online book club

Publish examples of good student writing done in class

blogging with students
Blogging with Students

Start by posting homework assignments and relevant links

Get the students reading blogs

Good blogging starts with good reading!

Let the parents know you have created a site

Models & examples

Let students respond to posts

Give each student his/her own blog


A search engine for media including blogs, photos, videos, and audio.

If you want to create more visibility for your blog, you may submit your blog to the technorati database.


A microblogging site

140 char max

Email or text messages to phone.

Messages are sent to all who subscribe

Messages are called “tweets”

let s get started1
Let’s Get Started!

to blog or to wiki
To Blog or To Wiki?

Writing process: Blog



Cannot be edited by others

Collaborative writing: wiki

Can be edited by all

Peer review

Collective knowledge

Changes are tracked

safety privacy
Safety & Privacy

Create and Adhere to school technology policy

Review the entire policy with staff, students and parents

Communicate to parents what you are doing and why

Teach ethical and legal behavior for social softwARE use