Posts Tagged blog

Twitter Tuesday – October 4th

A few tweets that caught my eye this past week:

Voicethread in ELA Classrooms

  • RT @Write_To_Learn: See how you can incorporate VoiceThread into reading and writing exercises in your classroom. #edtech #edchat
Collaboration Tools:


Educational Hashtags to know about in Twitter:

 Professional Development through Twitter: Edchat

Information for Teachers getting started on Twitter 

Blogs in the Classroom:

An Example of how to get kids writing for real-world audiences



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Ideas for Providing Feedback

Want to make a difference in your classroom? Let your students know how they are doing!

The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. [Hattie, 1992]

According to Robert Marzano’s Classroom Instruction that Works -providing feedback to students can be the single most important change you make in your classroom.  Research shows that:

  1. Feedback should be corrective in nature – Let’s students’ know why what they are doing is right or wrong.
  2. Feedback should be timely – the more the delay the less effective it is
  3. Feedback should be specific to a criterion – Focus on how they are doing based on the skill and not in relation to other students.
  4. Students can effectively provide some of their own feedback – Students can track as their learning occurs – ex.  accuracy and speed

Technology can provide new and innovative ways to provide this for students.

  • Rubrics
  • Online Publishing – Blogs
    • Blogger – hosted by Google – also free to use.  You can take the “next blog link” off the top banner with some simple coding.
    • ePals – provides safe email and blog platforms for schools
    • Edublogs – free blogs for classrooms.  They are running google keyword ads now so be careful.
  • Polls
    • Turning Points – Clickers – RRISD created tutorials for Turning Points –
    • Quia – free 30 day trial version is available
    • Survey Monkey
    • Google Forms – create online quizzes for free.  Responses are stored in a spreadsheet for further analysis.  Must have a Google account.
    • Poll Everywhere create polls that participants can respond to via, text, twitter, smartphone, or web.

Note about Cell Phones:  We are a ways away in our district from asking students to pull out their cell phones to text in answers, but this is a technology worth watching.  The polls on Poll Everywhere allow for web voting as well.   Polls can be embedded into webpages and blogs to see instant results, as well as downloadable PowerPoint slides.

I built some sample text polls with Poll Everywhere to test it out:

All my resources for this post can be found on my diigo account.
I’ll continue to add more as I find them.

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Blogs – A Campus Update

I watch the news and they refer to their blogs and read reader’s comments on the air.  I listen to the radio and hear about the blogs available there and what listeners have to say about the goings on with the music.  The Entertainment industry is full of blogs, I was tracking down past American Idol participants and found many have blogs now to keep their fans informed.   Blogs have infiltrated our everyday lives, but still research suggests many people still don’t understand what blogs are.

So how are we reaching our students to get them informed?  I started thinking about all the teachers who are introducing blogging this year (or have been blogging for several years) on campus now.  I wanted to share those examples so maybe other people will get ideas on how blogs can be used in their classrooms.

Blogs at Ridgeview:

  1. Mrs. Hazen, 6th grade math, is using a blog as a web page to communicate with parents and students about class happenings as well as providing reteaching and more information about class topics.
  2. Mrs. McLinden, TAG Math has been using blogs for several years to get her students talking about math.  She has 3 blogs, one for each subject.  At the end of the year she asks students to leave advice for the incoming group.  This is a great example of building relationships with students:
  3. 7th Grade Science teachers, Mrs. Dausses, Mrs. Stegall, Mrs. Mayen and Mrs. Prescott are using blogs to ask students to think about the science topics they are learning about in class as well as to give more information to extend learning.

What do the students get out of this?  They are learning how to interact in our ever changing world.  They are learning how to respond appropraitely on blogs and how to stay safe online by not sharing too much about themselves.  They are learning how to become part of the global conversation.

Want to learn more about blogging?

Check out these previous posts:

Blogs in Plain English:

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Blogging in History

Several years ago I attended training at the University of Texas on Telecollaboration.  Most of the ideas presented in the training seemed so labor intensive that there was no way as a teacher or now as a Instructional Technology Specialist that they could be implemented.  Or I felt like I needed to know professors from all over the country before I could begin.  So I filed those ideas away and thought maybe some day I could attempt what I had learned.

Those ideas have come back to mind lately and I wanted to explore a few of those here.

Have an online conversation with a historical figure.

The original plan was to use email as the main means of communication.  Questions over access to the information in the emails and how the class could actively participate in conversation stopped me from trying this.  But with web 2.0 tools this could happen easily by substituting email for blogs.

This is not a new idea and you can find some examples of teachers already doing this online.

Basic premise: A Historical figure could begin keeping blog about the major events that happened in their lifetime.  Students could pose questions to the person to get a deeper understanding about how things worked.

  • Teacher(s) could write the posts and students could ask questions through the comment section.
  • Students could research the person and create the journal entries to be posted.  Other students could read the postings and ask questions about the information presented.


  • Harriet Tubman –
  • World Was II – – blogs are not based on actual people but on historical events and fictional people

Other Ideas:

  • Students could research a part of the world and write a blog entry as a person who lives there explaining what life is like.  Other students could comment on the entries and ask extension questions.
  • Create a blog that represents a side of revolution.  The Texas rebels could use the blog as a way to communicate the latest in the war effort against Mexico and what has happened.  Students could write the entries or the teacher could also post entries that the students have to respond to.

This is just basic ideas to get the ball rolling.  More ideas?



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Blogging Part 3 – Students Who Blog

In my recent blog readings, I have come across the prevailing thought that the importance of blogging is not just to make your voice heard, but it is the ongoing conversation that happens after a blog/piece of writing has put out there and others comment back to extend the conversation.  It is not just the writing workshop process happening in the classroom, but it is taking it to the world.   When you have to clarify and defend what you say, you improve your ability to write with a clear focus on your audience and purpose in expressing yourself. 

Students who blog have a great opportunity to see their writing read by others and even get feedback on their thoughts and insights from “real-world” people and not just their teacher.   How powerful is it to know that anyone in the world can read what you wrote and make comments.  Remember – Comments can be moderated so that the not so helpful ones are not made public.  

What are some examples of student created blogs?  Here is a list taken from Will Richardson’s Book  Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom.

  • learn how to blog – nothing better than a hands on experience for learning
  • class writing assignments/ ongoing portfolio of writings – blogs would keep all the writing organized and students can look back over time and see how their writing has changed over the year.  This could also be a showcase of their best work.
  • express opinions or insights about class topics – Blogging is not just for LA classes, students can give insight on:
    • history topics
    • pieces of music
    • what makes learning a new language hard
    • how science and math can be found in everyday life
    • write editorial pieces about current events
    • discuss class activities

Any other ideas? 

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