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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Blogging in Class

Blogging in Class

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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30 Replies 887 Views
I guess I'm the first to start! I'm looking forward to seeing what people have to say. I LOVE writing and really enjoy helping students discover the joys of writing - how powerful it can be when you convey your thoughts via the tool of writing. I just started a Blog for my MG/Enrichment class. We only get to meet once a week for 45 minutes. I thought blogging could be good way for us to stay connected and to help keep the momentum when we're not meeting. So far, I've gotten great responses! Only 2 of the students have posted - we're still working out the kinks! - and their posts have been great. I'm going to use it both in class - some students blogging while others work in groups - as well as out of class. (If I can get the log-in situation worked out. I'm using kidblog - I think that's it - and I need to iron out how kids would log in without me logging in with the "master" class log-in.) I think this is a great way for students to express themselves and get into discussions with each other. Have any of you used blogging? What other resources have you uses? I'd love to hear from people!!!

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Kathleen A. Scanlon-Desio's picture
Kathleen A. Scanlon-Desio
Parent of 2 elementary school students in Baldwin, NY

My 4th grade son has a blog - it is so important for them to write as much as possible and he agreed to post fairly often if I set him up with his own domain and Wordpress. He also has a Flip video camera so he can incorporate video in his posts.

It isn't always easy and I am also teaching him how to use Wordpress but his writing is progressing nicely.

Andy Goldstein's picture

In my Technology Education classroom, we've been working with a classroom blog since December, and it's been a fantastic experience. Our classroom blog is a place to showcase student projects (such as videos, Claymations, Flash animations, PowerPoints and Glogs), as well as reflect on various classroom projects and ideas through the posting of their writing. You can view our class blog at: Imagine. The students experience themselves as creators and makers of meaning as they see their work and ideas published to the Internet.

MJ Ewald - 12665's picture

I have used blog.com with my AP students as part of their course grade. They need to respond to a post that I put up as well as respond to each other. Other than occasional problems with accessing the site, this serves as a great tool to facilitate class discussions and see what the kids understand. I only wish that I had used it more with them. It's still a work in progress, I guess.

I am interested in Moodle, but not sure how it works. Any advice?

Kathy F's picture
Kathy F
6th grade writing teacher

Thank you so much for all the great ideas and advice. I would like to offer another medium for my sixth graders to write in next year.

I have a colleague that used a blog for a novel assignment/discussions. It was truly impressive. He set up his rules/"license agreement" with the students and had relatively no problems. He was able to assess them without bringing any papers home and worked around his family schedule.

I teach writing so I do not work with any novels so to speak, but I am getting inspired by all these posts. Next year should be a blast!

Again-- many thanks!

Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer
Staff

Came across this PDF Rubric for using Moodle in the Classroom.

You can downloadMoodle Tool Guide for Teachers (PDF) here.

Curious to hear if anyone uses it or finds it useful.

Lynne Bailey's picture
Lynne Bailey
Middle School Technolgy Teacher in Westchester County, New York

I recently joined the staff at a Middle School in Mt. Vernon, NY. The principal wants to get everybody blogging, and one of my roles is to help with that. However, the school district has no policy for blogging by students. We've asked to get that started, but it's taking much longer than we'd like.

In any event, do any of your schools have a written AU policy for school blogging that you could share? Is your school polity the same/similar to thse two I found online? Arapahoe HS, Littleon CO at http://arapahoe.littletonpublicschools.net/Default.aspx?tabid=1486
and West Branch OH online at http://mcspace.mcesc.k12.oh.us/WestBranch/content/guidelines.php

Also - do you have specific policies for faculty, parents or others? Did you and/or your school notify all parents the your particular blogs, or in general that their students would be blogging.

Amy Ford's picture
Amy Ford
K-5 Technology Resource Teacher, Lexington, KY

Tammy:

Have you tried adding Mahara (http://mahara.org/) to your Moodle system? It's very similar to Facebook but in a much safer environment. It includes but is not limited to blogging, messaging, adding friends and is great for e-portfolios.

Phil Brady's picture

I have been the instructional technology coach for an ARRA grant that provided 1:2 laptops for six classrooms.
After a bit of running around, we started using Edmodo for our classroom (and inter-classroom) blogging, and it has worked very well. On the "walled garden" side of things, the ability to restrict access to students who are invited to join gave us a very "safe" environment for students to begin blogging. We have also been happy with the ability to interact with other Edmodo classrooms in the district and to create subgroups within classrooms (for instance, we've been doing a cross-school Literature Circle involving two schools and 4th and 5th graders, and we could create a subgroup for each book, and those students could communicate within their own circle).
It is also easy for teachers and students to create links to other internet features (like word definitions in Wordsmyth or polls). Creating, responding to, and scoring assignments is also relatively straightforward.
In a couple of classrooms, students respond in Edmodo 3 to 4 times per week, and just think of it as another activity that they do almost daily. The increase in the quantity of student writing has been great to see.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia
Facilitator 2014

Hi everyone,
I notice that a lot of you are concerned about districts restricting internet access to sites that you would otherwise find useful. I have a suggestion or an idea - our district was similar in some ways, until my school went to Google Apps for Education (full disclosure - I am a google certified teacher). This allows access to most of the tools from Google (Docs, Calendar, Mail, Sites etc) but within a safe domain.

I've been using Blogger, for example - and this is where this links in with the current conversation - with my vocational students. They've been recording their successes (and failures!) on the workplace via Blogger, which is Googles blogging platform. Previously, this would have been blocked, but under GAFE, we can use it.

Hope that helps - if any of you want to talk more about it, let me know.

Of course, I know that some districts have blocked GAFE, too!

*boggle*

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