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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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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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Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)
Facilitator

Thanks, Erika, for starting our first conversation going! I agree with you that blogging is "a great way for students to express themselves and to get into discussions with each other." Can you post a link to your site?

I've been involved in student blogging projects for a number of years. What always strikes me is the number of students who will read (and re-read)and write comments beyond the school day.

One resource I've been sharing with teachers in my district is a recent post by middle school teacher Bill Ferriter on Teacher Tips for Blogging Projects.

I look forward to continuing this conversation and invite the Edutopia community to add comments - and resources!

Erika Saunders's picture
Erika Saunders
6th-8th Special Ed, LS & Mentally Gifted teacher

[quote]Thanks, Erika, for starting our first conversation going! I agree with you that blogging is "a great way for students to express themselves and to get into discussions with each other." Can you post a link to your site?

I've been involved in student blogging projects for a number of years. What always strikes me is the number of students who will read (and re-read)and write comments beyond the school day.

One resource I've been sharing with teachers in my district is a recent post by middle school teacher Bill Ferriter on Teacher Tips for Blogging Projects.

I look forward to continuing this conversation and invite the Edutopia community to add comments - and resources![/quote]

Hey Gail! The site I'm currently using is Kidblog - http://kidblog.org/home.php. My District blocks so many social networking sites. Not only did I want something simple to use, I wanted something I could actually use in school!

I've just started my own blog focused mostly on writing - something I LOVE and am passionate about in school. I'm hoping I can use this to help kids embrace the joy of writing. Here's my blog: http://theytoldme2write.blogspot.com/

I will definitely check out Teacher Tips for Blogging Projects you mentioned. I wish my District was more open to utilizing the great technology that's out there AND gets students' interest!

Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)
Facilitator

Thanks for sharing both links, Erika. I'll be exploring Kidblog.org today. I am always looking for free blogging sites for teachers, ad-free and school-appropriate.

My district really tries to support teacher efforts to provide students with Web 2.0 writing environments, even allowing temporary filter overrides for YouTube and other sites that, while they may host some inappropriate content, for the most part, provide a wealth of classroom resources.

So glad you've joined our group!

Bill Ferriter's picture

Gail,

I'm glad that you found my post on teacher tips for blogging projects helpful. Here's a direct link to a PDF that includes the entire series of teacher tips for blogging projects that people can download and print:

http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com/Blogging#TeacherTipsforBloggingProj...

It's posted on a wiki where I share all of my Web 2.0 resources:

http://digitallyspeaking.pbworks.com

Hope the material that I've organized is valuable to someone....

Bill

Tammy Burke's picture
Tammy Burke
ELL/PYP overseas

I'm currently using Moodle with my elementary ELL students. I want them to be more exited about writing and I'm wondering if a blog would be more enticing. Anyone have experience with both blogs and Moodle?

Thanks,

Tammy

Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)
Facilitator

Thanks, Bill, for the links and for joining the conversation. I've shared your tips recently with a group of elementary principals - and their buy in to the value of teacher blogs instantly escalated.

Scott S. Floyd's picture
Scott S. Floyd
District Instructional Technologist, White Oak, TX

Our kids use both, but the blogs have them more excited because of the outside interaction. They are enjoying the ability to have replies from and conversations with the world outside our school walls. They enjoy Moodle, but for writing, you cannot beat blogs.

Diane Barrie's picture

Erika,

I did a blogging project with my seventh graders and another seventh grade class in another state. We were both reading The Outsiders and shared reactions to the book. You can visit our site at www.talkaboutoutsiders.wordpress.com. I use Word Press a lot, and now that I know the system, I love it.

Diane Barrie's picture

Tammy,

I have blogged with my students, and they definitely enjoyed the process. I use WordPress and love the variety of templates from which to choose and the fact that it now has comment threading. I learned Moodle at a one-day inservice, and I found it quite visually confusing - maybe even messy. There's something about the way it looks and the control buttons that befuddle me. Of course, I haven't worked at learning it more, so it's possible I would like it if I knew more about it.

Bob's picture

You know, I am jealous.
Our district restricts internet access with such iron fists we cannot even use some of the educational sites!
Students and teachers are encouraged to research but the paranoid powers that be restrict that activity as well. They jump on us for our students not producing quality research, or for poor student projects. Amazing...And you can have kids blog in class too? Amazing!

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