My Conclusion

18 07 2011

Blogging in the classroom is still a relatively new concept to most teachers. It has only been within recent years that teachers have begun to use blogs for personal use and for educational purposes. Teachers can use blogs for a variety of purposes from recapping lessons to creative writing assignments. It is important for teachers to use blogs because so many of our students are using personal blogs. There are many benefits to using blogs to help teach students.

Blogs offer a way for students to start thinking about publishing their work and sharing their writing with the rest of the world. It gives them a way to showcase their work without having to read it to the class directly. Blogs help students be more invested in their writing when they know that it will be read by their peers and other internet users. Blogs will motivate students to want to share their writing with other people. It helps improve students creativity, accountability, and accuracy.

Blogging helps students engage with writing a way that is creative and familiar to them. The use of technology connects to the students on a level that paper and pen do not. Students can use this technology to interact with each other’s writing. Blogs help spread new ways of thinking and writing from student to student. Students will engage more in discussions on blogs than in the classrooms. It allows less outspoken students to be heard. Blogs gives students an equal opportunity to participate without fear of what other students might say unlike classroom discussions.

Before this project, I really had no idea what a blog was or what it even meant to blog. Now, through the exploration of my inquiry question, I have a much deeper knowledge and a firmer grasp on what it means to blog. Blogging is a new tool that teachers now have access to in order to engage our students. We as teachers should develop our skills and use the tools that are the most current. It is what is best for the students we teach. They should be exposed to new ideas and information in creative, engaging platforms. I look forward to creating my own teaching blog. I intend to use a blog in the ways that I have explored for this inquiry question.

 

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Teacher Blogs

17 07 2011

Three great blogs run by real English teachers! They deal with technology and writing!!

http://bgenglish.blogspot.com/

http://thehurt.wordpress.com/

http://classroomblogging.wordpress.com/





Teacher Websites and Blogs

15 07 2011

1. http://www.adrianbruce.com/blogging/blog_hosting/blog_hosting.htm

This is a website maintained by a teacher named Adrian Bruce. He has his own blog that he maintains at http://adrianbruce.com/teacher-toolbox/. There is a link to his blog on this website. The purpose of his webpage is to inform teachers on how to blog and what blogging is. He also gives his recommendations on different blogging sites as well as how to use them. It is a good website for an introduction to blogging.

 

2.http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/2011/03/26/free-tools-challenge-5-edmodo-in-the-web-2-0-classroom/

This website offers a more secure blogging website, Edmodo, to consider as a teacher. As teachers, we have to be concerned about our students’ privacy and who can access their information. This site allows only those with the group code to see the information on the page. Teachers can interact with other teachers and their students in real time. The webpage also gives ideas for activities that can be done using a blog, like Edmodo.

 

3.http://web20intheclassroom.blogspot.com/2008/10/ways-to-use-blogs-in-your-classroom-and.html

This webpage gives 33 ideas for using blogs in the classroom. It is not just for the writing classroom but for other classrooms. This validates the idea that blogs are useful to teachers and are a legitimate medium for educational purposes. Many of the 33 ideas can be made into writing activities through the medium of a blog. The ideas are really good and I used this website as the basis for the writing activities on this blog. I bookmarked this site because I found it very useful.

 

4.http://www.fortheloveofteaching.net/2011/03/how-and-why-to-get-your-class-blogging.html

This is the blog of a 2nd grade teacher. She tried using a classroom blog with her students and in this post, she reports on her experiment. She talks about how it motivated her students and excited them. Blogging worked really well with students as young as second graders. Imagine what you could do in a writing classroom with older students! It is fantastic that the young students are already working on blogging. With the basics that they learn in elementary school, teachers can build on those skills as the students grow. I think this website shows how blogging can get students writing in a creative way in the most basic form!

 

5.http://twowritingteachers.wordpress.com/

The authors of this blog are two teachers who live and work  over 500 miles apart! They have been sharing their ideas with each other and their readers since 2007. Their purpose is to help students improve their writing. They share techniques  and strategies that they use. Its a pretty cool blog!





Teaching With Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts & More

14 07 2011

Teaching with Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts & More: Dozens of Easy Ideas for Using Technology to Get Kids Excited About Learning is a teacher friendly book by Kathleen Fitzgibbon.  It deals with teaching with technology to engage students as is obvious in the title. The book goes through the different, current technologies and what they are. It gives ideas for activities that will effectively engage students as well as help their writing skills. It appears to be a useful book for teachers of all ages. The activities can be added to for the more advanced students.

http://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Wikis-Blogs-Podcasts-More/dp/0545168341/ref=pd_sim_b_2





New Technologies to Get Your Students Engaged

14 07 2011

Ryan Cordell’s article about using technology to engage students in the writing classroom. In this article, Cordell talks about the different kinds of new technology that can be used to teach research, literature, and writing. In his paragraph on blogging, Cordell gives helpful ideas on how to effectively use blogs for the classroom. He suggests that a class blog be created for students to submit work through. He discusses the idea that students are more conscious and thoughtful when publishing their work on the internet. Cordell gives a tool for teachers called Commentpress that is a widget available on any wordpress blogs. This tool allows students or teachers to comment on specific paragraphs in the post instead of the entire post. This could be helpful when peer editing or giving feedback on works.

 

Cordell, Ryan. (2011).New Technologies to Get Your Students Engaged. Chronicle of Higher Education, 57(36), 8-10.  Retrieved July 14, 2011, from Academic Search Complete. (Document ID: 60826212).





Real classroom results

13 07 2011

This video was made by a teacher who used blogging in her writing classroom with high school juniors. Students tell their opinions on blogging in the classroom. The teacher reports how it worked for her and why she thinks that blogging is important for English classrooms.

 





Weblogs and Literary Response

12 07 2011

In this article written by Kathleen West, she discusses the way that she used blogging in her classroom. She starts off the article by telling about the weekly class period that she devoted specifically to blogging. She discusses how excited her students were and all of the great classroom discussions that were spun off of the blog. West discusses how her students’ social identities came out through their writing on their blog. It is less formal than a paper and the students treated it that way.

This article focuses on three students, two girls and one boy, from different academic and cultural backgrounds with differing writing styles. Despite these differences, all three students built an identity of serious literature students. All the students also seemed aware of their digital community. They used phrases and language that incorporated text and instant messaging language. Yet, despite the informality of the blogs, the students were clearly literary experts.

The conclusion of West’s findings indicate that all students can gain something from using a blogging platform. The students enjoy it and are more creative and insightful using the informal language of a blog. They create their own identities online which compare to their social identities. Overall, the benefits of using a weblog are endless and need to be explored further by teachers.

West, Kathleen. (2008). Weblogs and literary response: Socially situated identities and hybrid social languages in English class blogs. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(7), 588-598.  Retrieved July 12, 2011, from Academic Search Complete. (Document ID: 31748460).