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IST 611 – week 5 discussion, continued

June 23, 2010

Question 2:  The additional readings give examples of how blogs have been used in the classroom. On the news this week, I learned that a science textbook has included blog entries from students at Central Square Middle School.  What are other ways that blogs are currently being used in the classroom and how else do you envision blogs could be used in the future?

Answer:  the Overby article describes three categories of educational blog – the tutor blog, the learner blog, and the classroom blog.  Most of the blogs I’ve looked at seem to fall into one of these categories.  Some ideas for blogs that I have not seen would include a blog shared between two classes/school in different parts of the country or even the world, sort of like class penpals Web 2.0 style.  Blogs could also be used for professional development for faculty and staff.   

One thing that strikes me in this conversation is how some schools block access to this tool altogether.  One of the schools I’ve done my fieldwork in blocks virtually all Web 2.0 applications, including blogs.  Implementing any of these types of blog projects would be difficult, if not impossible. 

Question 3:  Throughout the readings, advice was given for successful blogging. What do you think was the best advice for individual blogging? What do you think was the best advice for classroom blogging?

Answer:  For both individual and classroom blogs, I think one of the most important things is to stay relatively current.  If  visit a blog that hasn’t had a new post in more than a few (3-4) months, I probably won’t be back.  The Peters article illustrates the importance of keeping your blog in line with your audience, and gives several helpful tips for blogging for elementary students.
Overby, A.  (2009).  The new conversation: using weblogs for reflective practice in the studio art classroom.  Art Education, 62(4), 18-24.

Peters, R.  (2009).  Hooked on classroom blogging.  Learning & Leading With Technology, 36(6), 26-28.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 1:53 pm

    I appreciate your comments on the challenges schools face in using blogs for educational purposes. It would be impossible to use a blog at a school where it has been blocked. I wonder if the teachers could get around that if all the students had computers at home.
    I agree with you that the currency of a blog keeps the readers coming back. I can say I am guilty of not keeping the blog I started in IST511 current. I'm sure I don't have any readers at all!

  2. June 26, 2010 3:00 am

    I ran in to the school filter situation on our technology project. The students could not go to Jing's website and they could not save to the desktop.
    The only two suggestions I could see would be to ask the IT people to allow a specific website through the filters (which I have a feeling they would not like). Or creating a blog site that the students could access from outside the school. I wonder how the school would feel if you created a blog for students to access from home. I am not sure that would go over well either. Do you think there are any other ways?

  3. June 26, 2010 7:16 pm

    @penny – I don't know if accessing a blog would be feasible in some districts. A decent percentage of students in my district don't have Internet access at home, and would be unable to participate in a blog outside of school. As far as bypassing the filters, that's a good question.

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