Blogging about Blogs

Reading all of the articles on blogs and wikis has me thinking a lot about ways to incorporate them into the classroom. I really liked the idea of creating a(much like Dr. Ransom has) for newsletters and goings-on in the classroom.

I mean, imagine having a place where the teacher can write an introduction to the classroom, maybe write about the units being studied. It would be a great way to get parents involved. In another class, a parent mentioned she’d like if the teacher sent resources for books to read with her kids that enhanced what the child was already learning. The Blog would also be a great place for parents to ask questions in an open forum where everybody could read.

I’ve been thinking, too, of different ways to get students involved. Maybe picking a student a day to write a “student experience” post to write about their impressions of what they’re learning. Other students could comment and discuss. Much like the blogs we have going on now, but it would also help the parents connect with the student experience. It would also be a great way to check in with students, their progress and impressions of the lessons.

Another great advantage seems to be the ability to connect with other teachers. One of the overwhelming parts about being a teacher, especially in a “Web 2.0″ world is that it’s a completely new experience. I can’t just rely on the old methods that I learned under. Being able to connect with other teachers, be able to say,”Hey, I tried this, it worked great!” or just to get feedback and have a great number of resources, seems to be very powerful. The idea makes me a little less apprehensive going forward.

One of the readings I had (title and author to follow, if I can find it) revolved around the idea of “authentic learning”. The author talked about the relevancy of having students write just for the teacher. It’s not realistic if they’re writing for one person all the time. Blogging could help writing skills (and reading skills) while working with an authentic audience. Not to mention that it would open up opportunities for children to form intelligent and respectful discussions, especially when they’re in disagreement.

These Web 2.0 tools seem to create an opportunity for some authentic learning experience, which is one of the goals for which I strive.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Blogging about Blogs

  1. I love your ideas for using a class wiki as a kind of information center for your classroom. I especially like your ideas to involve students and parents. Some parents might be shy about asking for resources they can use, but if you already provide them and then simply make them aware of the availability they can choose to access it if they want and it can also be confidential. Involving students in a class wiki is also a great idea! Then it becomes a space that is really for the whole class community! If students are allowed to write learning reflections or post interesting pictures or resources they find about the topic at hand, they and their families will be more likely to get involved in using the class wiki. Great ideas!

    • Thanks! Reading all about the ideas that people were sharing really got me thinking. In some of my other classes, we’ve been talking about how to get parents more involved. When I think about all of the things that could prevent parents from doing so, it seems that something like a class wiki could help.

  2. I also enjoyed the readings on Blogs and Wikis. They allowed me to think about these tools under a whole new light. I think that making it a classroom website that involves students are parents will allow for more communication and a more successful educational environment.

  3. I like your idea of setting up a blog as a kind of newsletter for students and parents. I know that some districts, like HF-L for example, require teachers to have a webpage that lists the homework and other things that are going on in the classroom. However, I think a blog might even be a better way to get involvement and interaction between you, students, and parents!

    • I’ve seen class websites, and they’re definitely cool! I saw one that featured educational activity websites that students could access at home. These websites weren’t necessarily required but supported what the students were learning about in class. I just think the idea of being able to have the whole class (parents, too) involved in the website could enhance the environment.

      I was thinking, too, it might also be a “safe place” for students to learn online etiquette.

  4. Stephen Ransom

    Shannon… you’ve hit the nail on the head here with this post. I know the professional learning benefits of web 2.0 are difficult to swallow at first when our experiences with social learning spaces are almost completely unrelated to professional types of [learning] activity – not to mention the completely dark light that the media casts on social media.

    The ideas that you share are spot on!

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