Thursday, August 20, 2009

Blogging 101

What is blogging and how can you use it! Here is a synopsis of our presentation from the PD day the first week of school.

Blogs are part of what is know as "Web 2.0" tools that are increasingly being used in schools these days. Other tools might include:

  • Wikis
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Social Networking
  • Social Bookmarking
  • RSS
  • Many more

Let's start at the beginning though, watch Blogs in Plain English for an excellent primer on what blogs are and why they are so cool.

But what do real, live, breathing blogs actually look like? If you don't know, try visiting my sister's blog that keeps our family updated, my favorite U of M Blog, or a couple of blogs that I write myself such as Paul and Todd’s Excellent Ed Tech Adventure and Mr. Toporski’s Classroom Blog.

Why is blogging in the classroom being talked about so much these days you might ask? Well, several reasons come quickly to mind. Blogs:

  • Provides a centralized place for regular writing practice.
  • Allows teachers and students to comment and provide feedback.
  • Allows for student reflection on assignments or discussion topics.
  • Creates a greater sense of community within a classroom.
  • Gives a voice to students who may not feel comfortable speaking in in class.
But how can you use blogs in the classroom specifically you say? Well, try blogs as:
  • Writing Journals
  • E-portfolios
  • Reflections on assignments
  • Sharing resources or ideas
  • Sharing Web links
  • Putting course materials on the Web
  • Dialogue from group work
  • Student feedback

If you are interested in finding out more about blogs, trying some of these resources:

Thanks for visiting. Now try leaving Paul and I comment.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blogs, Wikis, Reading and Writing

Hi folks!

I hope everyone had a great summer. I did and I am ready for school to start (well almost ready). I am heading to a district "Content Literacy" meeting soon and the focus will be on reading and writing and how blogs and wikis might be used in the process. In preparation for the meeting I gathered some great links that you might enjoy. I tried to explain what blogs and wikis are, along with what the term "Web 2.0" encompasses.

What Does This Stuff Mean?

Using Web 2.0 Technologies in Working with Today’s Learners

Blogs in Plain English

Wikis in Plain English

How Can I Use This Stuff?

Weblogs in Education

Blogging Techniques for the K12 Classroom

Using Blogs as Writing Portfolios

Blogs as Writing Practice

Teaching Digital Writing (table of contents is on the right side of the wiki page)

Professors Using Blogs, Podcasts as Teaching Tools

Wiki as a Teaching Tool

Defining Purposes for Using Web 2.0 Tools (On-line slide show)

Blogs, Wikis, & Web 2.0 in the Classroom

Wikis in Education

Until next time,