Helping teachers integrate technology into instruction

You all did a great job setting up your blog accounts and learning how to comment on my blog posts!  That’s terrific!  I know that, for some of you, it was no big deal; but, for many of us, just trying to figure out where to go to register for an account and clicking through the steps can be frustrating.  I will always *try* to remember to post screenshots and/or directions but, if I forget, please just ask!!

Ok, so now that we’re all set up with our blog accounts, what exactly is a blog, anyway?  Here is a very short (less than 3 minutes) video that explains Blogs in Plain English.

Now that you understand what a blog is, let’s take a look at some classroom examples of blogs:

These are just three examples of how you can use blogs.  If you looked at A Year of Reading, did you noticed about mid-way down on the right-hand side of the page the authors include links to other blogs that they like?  There are over 100 links to blogs that are all related, in some way, to reading – teacher/librarian blogs, kidlit blogs, author-illustrator blogs, etc.  Wow!  If you have time, click on a few of the links that sound interesting and look around.  You never know when you will find a goldmine!

Here is a 2 minute video that shows Ten Ways to Use Your Edublog to Teach (but you can use any blog!).

So, we’ve set up our WordPress accounts and talked about what blogs are; we’ve looked at some examples, and we’ve seen ten ways that blogs can be incorporated into the classroom.  Now, let’s practice!  Using the WordPress blog that you set up when you created your account, write a sample blog post.  It might be about something you think your students would like to discuss in class, or about a book you’re reading, or about anything else that you want to write about!

To create a new post, you have two options:  one, you can go to the top left of your screen where you see the name of your blog and click on the name of the blog, then click on New, and then click on Post.  This will take you to a page where you can enter a title for your blog post and then start writing.  Make sure when you are finished, you click on the Publish button to the right of the main text box!

Your second option for creating a new post is to simply click on the button at the top right of your screen that says New Post.  Doing so will open up a pop-out window that provides the same options for enter a title and main text.  When you are finished typing, click the Publish Post button at the bottom.

That’s blogging in a nutshell!  Thoughts, questions, comments?  Can you think of ways that you might use blogs either with your students or professionally – as a teacher or as a learner?  Also, if any of you have experience blogging, please share your experiences/advice!

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Comments on: "Week 2, May 9th: A Closer Look at Blogging" (18)

  1. I enjoyed the video instruction on blogging, and the first grade teacher’s blog gave me several great ideas to use for my own blog!

  2. http://www.blurb.com/create/book/blogbook allows you to turn your blog into a hard copy scrapbook. Great if you want to chronicle your blog. ~ Julia

  3. I used a blog with my students when they read To Kill a Mockingbird. Here is the link: http://mshadden.edublogs.org/ My students seemed to like it. I did have some difficulty getting students to post to others’ comments. Part of this stemmed from my reluctance to simply let them post without having their comments moderated first. I primarily did this because they haven’t had much practice yet and sometimes they write things that can be inappropriate without facial expression or tone of voice present. It also avoids having students getting into “arguments” online. I intend to use this again with other assignments and try to find more ways to encourage students to use this tool to gain insight from each other.

  4. I love to blog…don’t have any followers yet, but check out my personal blog at http://pursesforchange.vpweb.com.

    I don’t have students blogging much because it is very difficult to get computers consistently. I really wish all of our kids had computers!!!!

  5. I have a personal blog, and am in the process of starting my class blog. Thanks, Sandy!

  6. I am still curious about how to make the blog I have created look the way I want. I do understand how to post and how to leave a comment. Also, I know that I can use the dashboard to manipulate the theme, background, and colors. I guess I need to do a little more experimenting. Any useful insights from others’ experience will be much appreciated. Sheila, I really was inspired b your class’s blog. I know what you mean about being cautious about previewing students’ posts. I am curious as to how you set this up. Is there a way to preview others’ comments and then only the administrator of the blog has the power to publish them?

    • As I said, I used Edublogs. The platform is very similar to WordPress. When you create your blog, you will have a dashboard. From the dashboard you set your options. You will find dropdown menus on the sidebar. Select “Settings” and under “Settings” – “Discussion.” This will give you all the options you need to manage the responses. The 4th response is “Before a comment appears” and gives you the option to moderate prior to allowing the post to appear on the page. For the blog you looked at, I moderated 357 posts and had about 15 that I read and did not release.

  7. Now that I posted a blog, who sees it?

  8. For anyone who is interested, my blog is at http://shadden.edublogs.org/. I try to post as I get time. My goal is to set aside some time each week to write a new post.

  9. The first time I let my students blog was through our Moodle pages. I found that i could keep track of what my students were saying during an assignment. Then I found the website “Blogger” through Google. I loved the things that my students can do with it. I can set up my page and allow students to blog through their school Google accounts(this is another way to keep track of what they are saying–more secure also). I haven’t had a chance to use edublogs, but I have looked on the website–it seems easy enough!

    Next year, I planned to use blogging as a formal way of writing, especially when it comes to social issues. I hope to be able to incorporate sources into the blogs. Sometimes, I think our kids get overwhelm and frightened at the idea of a research paper. I’m not saying that blogging will replace the actual research paper(it won’t); i really just want to use it as a small intro into writing the research paper. At least if students get acquainted with MLA format and citing in the blogs, maybe they will feel okay with it when writing the BIG DADDY!

  10. I enjoyed looking at the examples of blogs and ways to use Edublog. Over the summer I plan to spend more time on getting acquainted with Edublog and blogging in general. On my blog I posted what I teach (Keyboarding/Career Exploration) and hope to find ways to incorporate a blog in this class. Please reply with any suggestions.

  11. okarrdms said:

    I’ve noticed a lot of language arts classes using classroom blogs with the Common Core Standards. I would love to give it a try next year. I think blogging is a great way to express yourself, and it gives those students who are too shy to speak out in class a place to contribute. I have a personal blog, but I find it difficult to find the time to keep it going. I’m hoping I can be more faithful to it next year.

  12. I love my Word Press blog. I found it was much more user friendly to me for keeping my class informed and reminded of all our “happenings”.

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