Introduction to Blogs and Blogging Educational uses.
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Introduction to Blogs and Blogging Educational uses
Second Page Blogging Basics: Creating Student Journals on the Web By Lorrie Jackson WHY A TECHTORIAL? What will I learn today? You will learn what blogging is and how to create classroom blogs for you and your students. What hardware and/or software does the techtorial apply to? This techtorial applies to anyone with a computer with Internet access. Which National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers does the techtorial address? The techtorial will help teachers accomplish standard Ib in particular. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has developed a set of National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers. Standards or Performance Indicators are included for each techtorial to help teachers and administrators improve technology proficiency. For a complete description of the standards indicated, go to NETS for Teachers, click Standards in the menu bar on the left, and then click the arrow to the right of Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers. BLOGGING ANYONE? Blogs -- short for Web logs -- are online journals or diaries. Blogs can be public or private, entertaining or educational, eclectic or subject specific. A blog entry is similar to a traditional journal or diary entry; it usually includes the date, reflections on a topic of interest, and a signature. Students can use blogs to practice writing and communication skills; teachers can use them to post assignments, share thoughts, stimulate classroom discussion, and more. Ms. Turnbull's Classroom is an example of a teacher's blog; Journalism Class Web Log is a teacher- directed student Web log.Ms. Turnbull's ClassroomJournalism Class Web Log What are the benefits of classroom blogging? Kids love blogging. Students who lack the reading and writing skills they need to succeed also may lack the motivation to practice those skills. Many are motivated, however, to chat virtually with their friends. Seeing their words published on the Web is a great student motivator. Blogs offer an innovative way for students to engage in reflective writing on classroom topics in a familiar medium. Blogs represent a democratization of information dissemination, providing each individual with the opportunity to publicly present his or her thoughts and opinions. Students who know they have an audience other than their teacher write more credibly, accurately, and carefully. Blogs allow others to respond, providing feedback to the authors. In short, blogs can bring today's students into the world of writing -- even at 2 a.m., even in their pajamas! Best of all, blogs are easy to create and maintain! LET'S BLOG! How do you get started? Here's an easy way: Go to Blogger.Blogger Click Start Here or Learn more about it and then click to begin. Type in your username, password, name, and e-mail account. Fill in a title and description for your blogging Web page. Keep the circle by "Host at…." Type an address for your blog. Click to accept terms of service, and then click Next. Select a template and click Finish. Type an entry. (Maybe something like, "This is my first blog entry.") Choose different formatting if you wish (to bold, italic, etc.). Hit Post and Publish. Wait a few seconds and then hit View Web Page. Basically, that's all there is to it! BEST BETS FOR CLASSROOM BLOGGING Now that you have set up a classroom Web log, how can students use it? They can reflect on their reading or classroom discussions. investigate topics online and then report on their research. record group progress on a project. talk about shared classroom experiences. copy and paste thought-provoking quotes from other blogs, and then offer their own thoughts on the topic. ask professional writers to edit their blogs, or provide feedback. BLOGGING DO'S The risks of blogging are real. Although you cannot review all blog entries before they're published, you can take steps to lessen the risks of inappropriate entries. Do: Get parental permission. Know your school and district acceptable use policies (AUPs) and convey them to your students. Avoid blogging sites that require students to publish their complete names and/or e-mail accounts. Avoid sites that ask students for any personal information. Make students aware of what subject matter is appropriate and permissible. Teach students the importance of tone and respect for others' opinions. Have clear expectations, rules, and consequences. Remember that with risk comes growth and learning. BLOGGING STEP-BY-STEP To gradually introduce students to blogging: Teach them the etiquette of online posting. Invite students to use blogs for a few days just for fun -- until they get used to how the system works. Create your own blog too. Assign one blog entry per week on a class-related topic; keep required lengths short and emphasize reflection. Over time, encourage students to provide feedback on one another's blogs; to evaluate blogs outside of class; and to create group blogs. Grade students on their blog entries. Evaluate such factors as time management, content, and grammar and spelling. TELL ME MORE! Where can I learn more about blogging? You can find more information about blogging at the following sites: Weblogg-ed is a Web log about using Web logs in education.Weblogg-ed Xanga is a free blogging site.Xanga Schoolblogs is a free blogging site for educational organizations.Schoolblogs What's next? Next week's topic is e-Portfolios: Publishing and Preserving Student Work