The Wonderful World of Blogs

What is a blog?

Blogs in Plain English by Lee Lefever

BrainPop - What is a blog?

The basics
  • blog - AKA weblog
  • Online journal entry
  • Displayed in a reverse chronological order
  • Combines text, images, and links
  • Allows for online conversation
  • Invites reader comments

What's the difference? Blog vs. Wiki. . .
Angela Maiers site
David Warlick's post - When Do I Blog?

  • Blog - presenter and audience
  • Wiki - group of people contribute to the collection of knowlege

Web 2.0 - Want to learn more? Join the social network for Classroom 2.0

Educational benefits
  • Increases students' interest in writing their work is published online and subject to reader comments
  • Increases communication among students
  • Motivates students who might not participate
  • Provides opportunities for students to read and write
  • Allows students to ask meaningful questions and stimulates new questions
  • Promotes interaction

Purposes of blogs
  • Learning
  • Interacting
  • Reflecting

  • Allows students to share information
  • Creates a classroom community
  • Fosters collaboration
  • Inspires self-reflection
  • Increases comprehesion and adds to conversation

Types of blogs
  • Class blog
  • Portfolio
    Classroom community - the new "class web site"
  • Showcases student
  • Communicate with parents
    Question and answer board
  • Updates about class happenings

Ideas for Blogging with Math
  • Writing/journaling about problem solving
  • Writing math autobiographies - sharing past math experiences
  • Summarizing daily lessons
  • Providing images that explore math concepts
  • Math writing prompts
  • Share practice problems and examples with students

Ideas for promoting literacy
  • Storytelling and journaling
  • Reading responses for reading groups
  • Questions to promote conversation among students
  • Class writing projects
  • Creating a class newsletter
  • Creating an online-book club
  • Debating - teacher posts comment and students can share pro's/con's based on their research

Blogging ideas for classroom blog
Seven Activities to do with Your Class Blog: (Tom Daccord)
1. Post a homework question
a. Each student writes a one-paragraph response.
b. Read a few before class to see what your students think about the reading.
c. You can require students to respond not only to the reading, but to each other’s
responses as well.
2. Start a discussion
a. Pose a question and require that students post at least three contributions to a discus-
sion over the course of a week, or more contributions over the course of a unit.
3. Invite outsiders to comment on student work
a. If you know the author of a book you are reading, have students write feed-
back and have the author respond.
b. Have students or tteachers from another school comment on your students’ work.
4. Have students post discussion questions for tomorrow’s class
a. This is great when you know you won’t have time to plan.
b. If you know that you’ve flubbed a class and students are confused, have them
post questions about things they don’t understand.
5. Have students post their notes for the day
a. Assign one student per day to be the scribe for the class. This is great for
discussion-based classes where you want students to focus on the discussion
and not have to worry about taking notes.
6. Post progress reports on team projects
a. Students can post their work to the blog so that others can see what they are
doing. They can also comment on each other’s work.
b. If faculty are trying to work as a team or core group, use a blog to communi-
cate with each other about lessons, etc.
7. Have students create their own blogs for any independent study
a. Have students post an outline of their week’s work before meeting.

Blogging as Assignments- Forum post from Classroom 2.0

Blogging do's and don'ts

  • Provide students with directions, guidelines, and expectations
  • Keep student safety in mind - establish rules for blogging
  • Provide time to practice blogging
  • Be clear bout the learning outcomes
  • Provide proper feedback at relevant times
  • Have clear assessment guidelines
  • Ensure adequate amounts of time for blogging
  • Provide proper conduct, uploading what makes a good post
  • Keep the focus on academic collaboration - guiding students to create thought provoking questions
  • Set the blogs up for the students - as a group or individual
  • Monitor and provide feedback

  • Be afraid to blog yourself
  • Leave blogging to the students
  • Just dive in

Blogging letter
Blogging policy
Blogging rules

Free blogging software
Professional Blogs

Classroom samples
Calvert's Wiki- List of classroom samples
Ejourney with Technokids
School Library Blog - Lists classroom samples
Exemplary K-12 Classroom Blogs
Edublogs Awards 2008
A Really Different Place

Blogging Examples in Education Oct 08

Other resources
50 Useful Blogging Tools for Teachers & Teaching Tips
Classroom 2.0
Educational Standards for Students - NETS
Creating Avatars - Shrink Pictures
Icon Archive

Subscribing to blogs
Google Reader
Scoring Blogs