August 31, 2010

Blogging with Students

I have been frustrated lately. I guess it has to be with myself since I SHOULD know better. With all the hype about increasing student test scores on high stakes tests, getting a better AYP label than last year, and not to forget the disappearance of tenure, I have to create a document which explains why blogging is a great activity to include in the evermore rigorously structure curriculum.
Let me be clear (Thanks Mr. President). I have brought this upon myself to introduce blogging to my school because the value of having an audience wider than the teacher and classmates. I want students to write so that they will have a voice, be heard, and have meaningful conversations with others who are interested in what they have to say.
It astounds me that so many of my students have never been to more than a few states or countries and have a narrow view of the world. I want to change this.
Last year, I introduced my classes to other teachers, classes and cultures. They loved it. I want to do the same this year but on a slightly smaller, focused scale.
I enlisted the help of @suewaters, @wfryer, @jdeyenberg, @zbpipe, @plnaugle, @web20classroom, @shellterrell,  and @pgeorge with this cry for help:

I need some help. I want to blog in the classroom, but need more resources to create a sound case for DO. Could you help?

I received answers that will keep me swimming for days.  Here is what they shared.

My best blogging summary - with some great examples of student work and change over the year

this is a bit old but some of these links might help 
I forgot this one - great classroom blogging resources

This may help! Blogging with your classes! &
More great rationale for blogging and letter to parents: 
Outstanding info in this online book/wiki: Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis and other Digital tools
Pick some good examples to share: Sue Waters has great resources to support blogging. 
I have tons of resources on topic of blogging-start here: then use links in this CR20LIVE show:

Take a look here: The first couple are on why to blog with students. Should help you out.

Even @suewaters sent something when she was very sick:

"sorry currently sick :( Maybe u could grab some info from my class series here"

 I am going through the materials now to glean and create a document to support my use of a classroom blog and individual student blogs in my classroom.
I hope to accomplish this within the year but as a step in that direction, we are doing a weekly reflection time and sharing our summaries with each other.  I have posted some of the reflections on our blog, Room 16 Bloggers.

I also would like some currently used ideas in how to structure blogging time. There is the concern that using computers and its tools would take up too much time. Time that could be used for doing science and/or math. I know there are some of you who have great ideas and have yet to share them. Put them in the comments below or send me a link to your work and/or ideas.

I'll keep you updated on the progress of this project.

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