Why Blog?

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A blog is a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically.

Blog Advantages

  • Convenience and Simplicity: Can be utilized from any computer connected to the Internet. You don’t have to be logged in to your school station/network to make changes to your blog.
  • Social/Collaboration: A blog can have several authors or contributors with varying levels of access for publishing comments or posts and other content.
  • Engaging/Motivating for Students
  • Interactive
  • Multiple Learning Styles: Blogging appeals to multiple learning styles.
  • Context for Learning: students can create real products for a read audience and get real feed back.
  • Encourages Reflection
  • Tech/Work Place Skills: Students learn technical skills for the workplace.

How can Blogs be used in education?

  • Class Website: You can place your lessons, assignments, and announcements online; communicate with absent students; include web sitem links and upload worksheets; Parents can submit comments in response to a request for volunteers or supplies to be donated 
  • Class Newsletter: Unlike an e-mail newsletter or a print newsletter, a blog entry is in no danger of not getting to its intended audience because it got caught in a spam filter or discarded on the walk home from school. Plus, if you include an RSS link parents can subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Class Blog: instruction tool with students contributing to the blog such as a current events discussion, or a book study, creative writing 
  • Department/Grade Level Blog: teachers can collaborate and share ideas, have virtual meetings, plan parent/teacher conferences
  • Cadre/Committee Blog: members can have virtual meetings, sharing ideas while viewing others’ ideas, collaborate on a group project, etc. 
  • Professional Development Book Study: members can have virtual meetings sharing reflections and applications of a book study. 
  • Mentors/Protegee: New teachers can use blogs to reflect on their experiences and their mentors can comment. 
  • Student Team Blogs: students collaborate on a project; Students who are not in the same science class physically, but are in one of Mrs. Rummel’s 8th grade science classes, collaborates with other 8th grade science students assigned to study Jupiter. Or, student in another District, State, or Country collaborate on a project using a blog. 
  • Blogging Buddies: like penpals, but better 
  • Writing Club: students post their work to a blog, fellow members comment  on work
  • Student Journals: Students can blog their reflections and the teacher can conveniently leave comments without collecting 25 spiral notebooks. 
  • Student E-portfolios: Students can publish their work on-line, or use it as a digital filing cabinet for their work. Comments can be posted by parents, aunts, grandparents, etc.
  • Activity Updates: Clubs and activities, sports teams, and parent groups use Weblogs to post scores, meeting minutes, and links to relevant issues and topics. 
  • Building Announcements/Principal Memos: These bulletins would then be archived for later reference; teachers could subscribe to the bulletins and automatically receive notification of new postings. Staff members could comment on posts.
  • Registration Blog: Workshop registration process could be completed using a blog. The facilitator posts an invitation, all those interested respond with a comment. 

Blog Concerns

  • It is important to develop guidelines for acceptable blogging. It needs to be information that students are aware of before they become bloggers.
  • It is an opportunity for students to be exposed to inappropriate content if blogging not pre-approved by administrator of blog. 
  • Students must be taught to evaluate on-line materials, observe copyright restrictions, protect their privacy, identify fraud, and to take responsibility for their on-line activity. 
  • Privacy of students must be observed. The same policies in place for class web sites are applicable to blogs as well.

For more information see the Fusion: Blogging webpage.

 

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