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+ Blogging as a Classroom Tool Samantha Manering Ashley Samsa

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Presentation on theme: "+ Blogging as a Classroom Tool Samantha Manering Ashley Samsa"— Presentation transcript:

1 + Blogging as a Classroom Tool Samantha Manering ( Ashley Samsa (

2 + What is Literacy? (Continued) Literacy is much more than just reading and writing. Literacy is situational, and occurs in multiple events consisting of five parts* Text – What is being read or written Context – Under what circumstances the reading and writing is being done Function – What purposes and uses the reading and writing served Participants – Who is involved in their reading and writing process Motivation – What tensions, desires, or needs motivate the writers and readers *Szwed, John F. “The Ethnography of Literacy.” Literacy A Critical Sourcebook. Ed. Ellen Cushman, et al. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001. 421-429.

3 + Blogging as Discussion By adding the ability for students to respond, you’re adding a whole new layer of literacy. Students must use reading and writing skills to understand the information presented and respond appropriately. Students must use critical thinking skills to write entries and respond to comments.

4 + The Headfake You’re teaching your students reading and writing techniques. You’re also teaching your students critical media literacy. The permanence of the written and published word makes students believe it is “true.” Blogs are like any kind of media outlet – magazines, newspapers, celebrity gossip sites By showing students they can critically analyze the written word in a classroom blog, you’re showing them they can critically analyze the written word anywhere.

5 + Personal Rationale for Implementing Blogging Blogging will provide a forum for literary discussion and peer review of writing. I frequently run out of time while discussing literature. I am hoping this will ultimately lead to more in-depth discussion on the topics we discuss. Blogging will open my high school class up to a larger audience; therefore, blogging will help me create a community of learners rather than just a single classroom of learners. The high school students will be exposed to college level thinking, writing, and discussion. All learners will be exposed to a more diverse audience. Blogging will take the place of some in-class peer editing activities. Blogging will allow for a wider audience of peer editors. Blogging will allow time for content feedback rather than just technical feedback.

6 + Grading in the Shared Blog JCHS course  blogging will be a portion of the 20% other grade It will take the place of journaling. Students will be required to complete a minimum one post per prompt The students will complete four prompts in conjunction with the district- wide summer reading program. Students will be required to post one paper per semester for feedback. JJC course  blogging will be a portion of the 20% other grade Expectations are the same as JCHS with the exception of completing the summer reading prompts.

7 + Anonymity All students will use their identification numbers as their user names. Students will be encouraged to post an image in place of their pictures. All correspondence will take place through the Ning site and students’ school e-mail addresses. I also discuss a “Maturity Clause” through my syllabus.

8 + Rules Keep it clean and appropriate. Don’t post anything you would not want your dean to read. Respond often. Learn. Argue. Converse. Express yourself.

9 + Possible Prompts and Postings English: Some ideas I have for possible prompts include thought-provoking quotes, pictures, cartoons, questions, current events, and online clips. Prompts serve to both elicit literary discussions as well as get students thinking about what is going on in the world around them. Students will post papers to serve for content feedback as well as technical editing. Social Studies: Current events Compare and contrast events, cultures, religions, political structures, or geographical locations Political cartoons Reoccurring themes throughout history (example: post "Pride cometh before the fall." See what historical events the students can relate to the quote.)

10 + Possible Prompts and Postings "Shop" types of classes: Youtube videos showing events or how-to do something Current events (ask the student how your class applies to that event. This worked well with a "Going Green" theme in our STEM academy) Compare and contrast methods, machinery, and tools Family and Consumer Sciences: Current events (possibly more pop culture related? I keep thinking of reality television prompts that would fit with what our FACS classes teach) For foods classes specifically, I would post information about becoming health department certified to manage a business (this may be unique to Will County). As separate blogs, I would then post the different health department rules and ask the students to blog about ones they see being broken in the community or at their jobs. I would then fear what I am about to learn.

11 + Possible Prompts and Postings Science/Health: Current events State a problem and have students blogs their hypothesis and solution Compare and contrast two things relevant to the curriculum Images in the natural world (just post a picture with the word "respond" under it) Math: State a problem that is solved incorrectly; have students correct it Allow students to post problems they cannot complete; have others complete them and show their work Post extended response questions and have students be required to complete a step in the process Require that the students make their own post about math occurring in their everyday lives

12 + Ning Set-Up Go to* Personalize your Ning Invite people Install Facebook and Twitter applications you would like Read about what other Ning creators have to offer *After you create your Ning and verify your account, links to all of the additional steps will be e-mailed to you shortly.

13 + Other Sites to Consider Blogger is also a free blogging platform that is simpler and more intuitive than, but without all of the options. You can still create private blogs and moderate all comments before they appear if you wish, but you may not be able to do all of the things you can do with However, the Compose Posts screen looks a lot like Gmail, and you only need a Gmail account to sign up for a blog, so if you’re a Gmail user, this might be the blog for you. For more information on setting up a site, visit:

14 + Other Sites to Consider Word Press is a free blogging platform that provides you with all of the options you’ll ever need when it comes to posting, commenting, and reading blogs. If your blog is public on, you can have anyone read and comment, or you can read all the comments before they appear on the site. If you create a private blog on, you can have 25 people view it and comment on it. For a tutorial on how to set up a site, visit: For additional information on free technology for teachers:

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