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"Blogging? It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!"

Tamara Kemper 8/22/06 Assignment #1 “How can the use of technology in the classroom contribute towards student learning?” The article, “Blogging? It’s Elementary, My Dear Watson!”, from the Education World Website is an insightful overview of blogging in the elementary school classroom. The article begins by explaining the definition of a blog or “weB LOG” and lists its functions. Blogging is praised as a web-publishing, journalistic and authentic writing tool. Jackson states, “ Educators know that students write better when they have a real audience—not just a teacher with a red pen.” This certainly seems to be a powerful truth. It is also mentioned that student interest in writing also increases due to the blogging. Several classroom uses are explained throughout the article. The first tells of a 4th grade class that has an ongoing commentary on current news stories. Another has first graders becoming and expert on a specific topic every two weeks and sharing with the rest of the class with the use of photos and drawings. Even an early childhood example is listed. These young children are able to blog using drawings! The actual “how-to’s” of getting the blogging started in the classroom are very comprehensive. Many blog programs are listed, such as Blogmeister, Kidzlog, Thingamablogand Think.com. There seem to be various restrictions with each, but it truly depends on the needs of the teacher. The safety concerns listed at the end were definitely appreciated. Important points, such as not entering student full names and photos were mentioned. It is certainly crucial for a teacher to investigate his or her district Acceptable Use Policy before pursuing blogging in the classroom. The article is followed by several additional resources on the topic of blogging. This article really got me thinking about technology in the classroom in a way I had honestly never done before. Whenever the word “blog” came to mind, I just thought of Myspace.com and all the mindless blogs one can find therein. I can only imagine how using this journal-style format in a classroom context would impact my students. They would probably feel like they were getting away with something they weren’t supposed to be doing! Anytime I use technology, I find that my students are more engaged than they would otherwise be. I suspect this would be no exception. This has my mind spinning about all the possibilities that exist for blogging in my own classroom. I especially liked the idea of responding to current events on a regular basis. I’m always trying to integrate an awareness of what’s going on around us and I know this would be an amazing way to do it! I can’t wait to start blogging! Jackson, Lorrie, Education World, “Blogging? It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!” 2005, http://www.education-world.com/a_tech/tech/tech217.shtml

cstafford

I feel like you do about blogging - fatastic possibilities. I attended a workshop on blogging last February and wanted to start teaching teachers about it right away. But the district was wanting to be very cautious on this one. I found out that a district can have its own specific type of blog server, which is a very safe way to go. Now to talk the district into it!
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cstafford

[ report as inappropriate ] September 3, 2006, 12:00 am


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