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Blogging Part 2 – Teachers Who Blog

Once you have read a few blogs you may decide you want to start one of your own.   This technology tip is for teachers who want to begin a blogs.

Check out these blogs from math teacher Karen McLinden.  Students are asked to respond to a post during a specified amount of time.  Some are math topics and some are topics about recent events in the lives of the students.

  • http://geometry8th.blogspot.com/
  • http://algebra7th.blogspot.com/
  • http://tagmath6th.blogspot.com/
  • What are other kinds of blogs that teacher’s have started?  Here is a list taken from Will Richardson’s Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom.

    • Reflective Journal that focuses on:
      • Your teaching experiences – The good, the bad, the ugly.
      • Your own learning – Professional development – What do you do with those ideas?  Did they work?  What would you do again?  What would you never do again?  Have you seen a good teacher in action?  Advice that you need to remember.
      • Share your experiences – Give how-to’s for another teacher, Describe lessons that you taught and how they went, share technology integration that you have attempted.
    • Class Blogs:
      • Literature Circles or online book clubs
      • Class related info – i.e. calendars, events, homework, supplies, wish-lists
      • Post questions on class topics for students to respond to – can focus on literature or skills
      • Post writing prompts and have students expand on them as part of their comments to you
      • Showcase student work  or provide example of good classroom work
      • Gather internet resources for class assignments
      • Link your class to another class in the world for a joint project or just an ongoing conversation

    Any other ideas?  Please add your ideas in the comments section.

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    What is a Blog?

    Let’s start  with the difference between a blog and your TeacherWeb page.  A blog allows for users to comment and keeps all posts stored in chronological order.  Blogs are also searchable and can be “tagged” with keywords for easy access to previous information.  For instance, in a few months from now you think, “Oh yeah – Robin emailed us something about blogs.”  You can come to this blog and search using the word “blog” and this post will come up.  Users can also subscribe to your blog and get notified every time something new is posted without you having to send out the info.

     In education blogs are great at :

    • easy publishing
    • self-expression
    • personality
    • forces writer to think about the audience
    • peer feedback
    • chronology
    • community of learners

    Examples of use in education:

    • Teacher’s Web Page
    • Learning Journals – reflect on one’s own learning
    • Create historical diaries – each day’s post equals day in character’s life
    • Create fictional diaries – choose a character from the book and write a diary from that person’s point of view – respond to events in the book
    • Publish Book – a chapter a day
    • Collaborate with different classrooms
    • Role Plays – Students are assigned various roles and post blogs from their view point.

    So where do you begin?  Start by reading some blogs.   Technorati is a blog search engine that tracks millions of blogs on all sorts of topics.  Check out your favorite websites, see if any of them have links to blogs.   Comment on the blog and see what happens.  Being part of this community is to not only read or consume the information, but to also add back to the knowledge base of other reader’s.  You are more than welcome to comment back on this blog at any time!

    Next, subscribe to a few blogs to begin being a member of the blogging community.  Blogs can be subscribed to through a number of free online readers, and sometimes you can get notification through email.  If you are interested in setting up a reader, let me know and we will get you started.   Here are some suggested educational blogs to subscribe to:

  • http://weblogg-ed.com/
  • http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/
  • http://webquest.org/bdodge/index.htm
  • and of course this blog: http://robinstechtips.edublogs.org/
  • You are now well on your way to becoming a blogger yourself.  Setting up your own blog is easier than ever and is completely free!  If you are ready for this step, let me know and I can come get you started.  I currently recommend edublogs as it is free, easily customizable, made for educators and contains no ads.

    Happy blogging!

    Further Reading:

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