I originally made this post last year, but it is substantially updated now. (Thanks to http://www.mikeberta.us/ for the image.)
Writing with Web Logs
A good argument for using blogs in the classroom. If you can only read one of these articles, this would be a good one to read. "The challenge, as it so often is with new uses of technology, is integration. How do educators take advantage of the Web's publishing tools with limited time and resources and in keeping with the standards? Enter a promising new use of technology called Web logs-or blogs, for short. Part Web site, part journal, part free-form writing space, blogs have the potential to enhance writing and literacy skills while offering a uniquely stylized form of expression."
Blogging Techniques for the K-12 Classroom
Here's an informative overview of K-12 blogging from the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Nice diagrams, too.
"Some advantages include:
- Providing a centralized place for regular writing practice, thus eliminating the need to collect multiple papers from each student.
- Allowing the teacher and other students to comment and provide feedback on individual posts.
- Creating a greater sense of community within a class that will more deeply permeate into their personal lives.
- Giving a voice to students who may not feel comfortable speaking aloud in a classroom setting or who are overshadowed by the more vocal students."
A good overview of how some Seattle-area elementary teachers are using blogs. "At the end of the year, the third-graders reflected on their experience. "I like blogs because you get to share a creative idea with the world," noted one. "I think I'm a better writer because of my blog," commented another. Added one: "I think that other kids should blog because it's fun and it really helps you learn more and more.""
The Future of K-12 Blogging
Here's a manifesto for K-12 blogging. Focuses on computer science, but interesting for everyone, I think. Sidebar has links to a number of K-12 teacher blogs
Paul Gates' Second Grade Class Blog
Learn about flowers, from second graders! Neat writings, drawings and photos!
Yes, it's those kids from Omaha again! Find out what they are doing by checking out their school's blogs.
Check out Mrs. Petta's blog. http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/blog/pettateacher/
Check out her students' blog: http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/blog/pettastudents/
Notice any differences?
New Kids on the Blog
"Richardson encourages teachers to move beyond online diaries, like the ones at Connors-Emerson, and consider using Web logs as thinking tools. In his old journalism class, no trees were killed—every assignment was paperless. And, in a growing number of classrooms, particularly at the secondary level, many teachers are discovering that a Web log serves as the perfect catalyst for critical debate."
"Plourde believes it's the public and immediate nature of blogging that so motivates her kids. "It's like writing in the clouds," she says. Anybody on Earth can read it, although usually it's just Alexa in the other fifth-grade class or Yuxi's mom."
Schools grapple with policing students' online journals
"The worries range from the serious - student safety and cyberbullying - to the mundane, minimizing gossip and protecting students from embarrassment. Some schools are trying to restrict access to the sites, or are holding sessions to educate both parents and students on proper guidelines."
Experts to Students: Watch What You Post
Everyone is always talking about the dangers of predators on the Internet, but the greater danger to many more students may be when future employers or schools look at the things the kids post in their blogs.
A Blogger's Code of Ethics
This is aimed at "professional" bloggers, but could easily be adapted for use with students.
I like this video about blogging in a high school (first one on the page):
Check out the rest of the weblogg-ed site, too!
Need an academic rationale for the use of blogs with your students? Read this:
Why Teachers Blog?
Check out this graphic! Sort of a concept map about teacher blogging.
Two examples of graduate student-created blogs:
Kenny Kimchee's EFL Adventures.
One of my students is a middle school EFL teacher in Japan, and he shared his experiences as a teacher over there. Really well-written, insightful stuff!
Another one of my students created this blog to show "examples and thoughts about children's writing at various stages of development." I wish she (and Kenny) had kept their blogs going.
I welcome any other suggestions!
Podcast, Blogs and Wikis Video!
Our workshop on podcasts, blogs and wikis went very well! You are more than welcome to check out the video.
Are You Familiar with LoTi?
It stands for Levels of Technology Integration. It's a kind of rubric for evaluating technology integration in a K-12 classroom. Take a look at it and rank yourself, if you're a K-12 teacher and/or your kids' classroom, if you have kids.
According to this blogger,
the LoTi is "valid & reliable assessment tool with over 60 dissertations attesting to its worth, independently validated by Temple University, "