Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Students and Blogging

June 21, 2010~ I am interested in having students blog in my science and socials studies classroom this fall. I observed my oldest daughter's ELA teacher use his blog for assignments and then had the students post responses as part of their homework. I have also seen where blogs are used more of a tool for communication with parents. I am wanting to use blogging as an interactive tool for learning. It is with that that I have the following questions and am in need of advice..
  • What does it look like in your classroom?
  • How have you used blogging with students?
  • Do you have any suggestions for evaluating student blog responses?
  • How do you handle students that may not have access at home?
I look forward to hearing from you....


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  2. I have never used blogs in the classroom so others might have better suggestions. The closest I have come with that is the use of wikis in the classroom and I had a little different goals for their use. As far as students having home access to computers and the internet, our public libraries are a great resource for that as well as many kids have the ability to access blogs and the web on their phones. Among the teachers at my school that use blogs, Ashley Weaver does this VERY effectively. You may just shoot her an e-mail to see how she does it.

  3. Robin;

    I have never used blogging in class with my students. I'm sort of uneasy about that, what with all of the negative stuff about teachers, students and social networking. I don't "follow" any students on Twitter nor do I "Friend" them on Facebook. I just don't want to go there.

    What I use, and I use probably every class period is Wikispaces. Here is a link to my HSTE Project in Wikispaces:

    I've used this for 3 years now and like it very much. It does what I want without the social aspects associated with other sites.

  4. There are lots of ways you could do blogging with your students. Some teachers I know appoint a student scribe each week who has the job of posting lecture notes to their class blog. Other students then are responsible for going in and commenting or correcting the notes.

    In both social studies & science, a blog could be used to explore current events in some way.

    I haven't blogged with students but am leaning toward the scribe option in the fall for some of my grades. I currently maintain a blog to inform parents of what is happening in the computer lab and have decided it's time to let the students handle this.

    You might want to read Blogging With Elementary Students and Tips on Blogging With Students for some ideas on getting started. How are you going to grade this? has some suggestions on grading blogs.

    For students without access, are there computers at school they can use? If you use blogger, you can post to a blog from a cell phone. As someone else mentioned, libraries have free Internet Access.

    Good luck with this!

  5. Robin, I guess I am 180 degrees from John. I developed Twitter and Facebook accounts specific for use with my students. I never post person information to these, only class and other science related topics. I have found this to be an incredibly effective way to share information about deadlines and assignments with students and to answer questions quickly.

    In the past I have attempted blogging with my students, but because of computer limitations at home only a few students really took to it. (Although they had access to computers at school and the library, like David mentioned, many simply refused.) However, with those that took part it worked brilliantly - I have also learned from some mistakes. Blogging has been especially effective for providing students the opportunity to comment on each others work and start small discussions (although for some there had to be some sort of "grade" attached to keep them involved) and as a way for students to reflect on assignments and topics. Having students answer a question on what was discussed in class or done in lab gave me a chance to really see what they understand and what they don't. And depending on how you set up their blogs, it can all be in one place - so you don't have to go hunting for their work.

    More often than not I evaluated this work on whether it was completed or not and then whether they contributed to discussions in the comments (in both their post and others). This kept the process simple.

  6. Thank you for the great suggestions and advice. I look forward to intertwining this into my blog use...