What is a blog??
Blogs are created to display information and the opinions of the author around that information and can be updated as often as the author wants.
How do I make one??
Blogs are very easy to make. Most of the time, you find a blog creator website and that site will give you very specific directions on how to create your very own blog.
A video on how to make a blog on wordpress:
Where and how can I make one??
Click here for a list of sites where you can create your own blog!
Other recommended sites with directions: wordpress.com, kidblog, edublogs, and Google’s blogger.com,
Examples of Classroom Blogs Written by Teachers!
- A blog written by a teacher on her six year old students – Click here.
- A blog written by a teacher around her third grade students – Click here.
- A blog written by a teacher around her fourth grade students – Click here.
Examples of Classroom Blogs Written by Students!
- A science blog with posts by students – Click here.
- A middle school science blog with a few posts by students – Click here.
- Example of a unit plan that uses a blog written by students – Click here.
Activity Types that make use of this Technology:
- Students can discuss with other students about the lesson that just occurred and how they understood and made sense of the information – questions that need to be cleared up, and how confident they are – as an exit task.
- On classroom projects, students can post their notes they took on a specific aspect of the project for the rest of the class to view.
- Students can help each other study by posting their perception of the main ideas from the lesson in the post.
- Students can make connections between their findings from other groups and help develop science concepts by pooling data.
- Students can debate a topic online.
How to Effectively Scaffold this Technology?
Unlike the classroom blog examples above, in high school, we want our students to take command of the classroom blog. In high school, we can assume that many (but not all) of our students will have experience with Facebook or Pinterest or some other type of blog.
- Our first step then, is to give a pre-test to see how much students know about blogs, how broad their experience is, and what access they have to computers at home.
- If students have internet experience, students will learn best by “messing around” with the technology. We can structure this further by giving students a list of things to attempt to do on the blog before the end of the class period. You can group students so that at least one person who knows a lot about blogs (gathered from the pre-test) is in every group so that students can learn from each other.
- Once students seem to be getting the handle on the blog, you can then have students take a formative assessment and ask each person to individually do a variety of tasks on the blog – to make sure that everyone has a handle on it.
- If some students are shown to still be struggling, give them additional support when working on the blogs in school such as giving them a buddy or having a checklist for anyone who would like it.
- Because not all students have access to computers at home, I would advise against assigning blog work for homework unless your pre-assessment gathered data indicating that every single person in your class can access that blog at home.
- Give this space to the students – you are a contributor and you keep watch for misuse, but do not control the place – this is a resource for discussion, debate, notes, and helping other classmates learn.
- Potentially, you could allow parents access to the blog so that parents can see and have their own space to communicate with the class and the learning – potentially, this will allow parents who have prior knowledge, or a side they wish to debate the chance, if their job allows it, to come in and participate in the classroom or just participate on the blog.
- As we consider creating a blog as an educative use of technology, we must consider whether the technology supports and enhances the learning around the subject, or if it will be a momentary tool to be learned and forgotten.
- As a student, this tool should create an alternate space for discussion, a place to learn from the teacher and from each other, a place for clarification, a place for reflection, and a place for sharing information about the subject or tangent subjects.
- As a teacher, this tool should enhance thinking, give space for formative assessment, and be a way for more variety in student responses.
- When implemented, students need to be taught what a public space means and who has access to it.