So there are technical issues here and then philosophical issues. Yes they do work in terms of connecting IF the individuals you are connneccting with are interested in that. They DO NOT work if the role of the other persons blog is simply to shout from a soap box in terms of connecting with that person. HOWEVER, it does work to drive those who read that blog to your blog. In essence this is how you join the party.
So you can also pinback within wordpress blogs just by linking to them.
1. How will this blog be incoporated into your classroom environment?
2. How can you use this blog simplify something you already do?
3. How can this blog keep your students interested in the content area?
4. How will this blog stay student-centered?
5. What will be my role as the teacher blogger?
6. How much structure is necessary for this to be successful in your classroom?
7. How can you show your students that this is a valuable tool for learning?
8. How can this be used to improve student discourse?
1) How will every student be involved due to lack of internet access in some homes?
2) How often and for what purposes will blogging be used?
3) How will you introduce safety considerations and expectations to students?
4) How often do you expect kids to post?
5) Is the teacher or are the students in charge of being the blog’s primary author? Who can edit the posts?
6) How much structure is there to the posts?
7) Do you have the school’s permission to keep a blog?
Mr. Patel’s Class Blog Welcome Letter
Welcome to our class blog. This is a place to share your concerns and ideas about what we are studying in biology class. Please remember that many people will have access to this blog, and that you must use it respectfully and responsibly.
Working in small groups or alone, together we will do and publish three or four things for our classroom blogging community:
1. Publish the basics of “How-To” (tutorials)
2. Publish an introductory blog post for students
3. Publish a series of 10 or so guiding questions or reminders for teachers
4. Publish a critical commentary on classroom blogging
5. Publish something else that will both help you and help the group
Some more details or ideas for each:
1. How-To Tutorial’s: Integrate existing guides (YouTube has many – check them out!) with your own commentary about why you might want to do certain things as well as “be careful you don’t make the same mistake I did.” Possible how-to tutorials could include:
* embedding video in a blog post
* linking your flickr account to your blog
* setting up a multi-user class blog
* setting up a classroom blog for YOUR class (figuring out firewall issues, email address issues, permission issues)
* how to write a “permission to blog letter” for your class – here is an example
2. Draft an introductory post for your students (and their parents and the public) that describes your goals for blogging as well as the norms for participation you are hoping for. This introduction could take a number of forms:
* Specific to a given unit in which you expect to involve an expert (not local) scientist/mathetmatician
* Daily scribe posts in which each student takes a turn each day
* Additional special assignments such as one in which students are invited to post a controversial topic or situation that is related to the curriculum and invite peers to engage in a conversation – Using evidence to support claims is emphasized.
Many are somewhat general like this one – try to write one that communicates more about your expectations regarding how, when and why students will engage in blogging.
3. Draft a series of 10 guidelines or reminders for teachers to consider when developing their philosophy and practices with respect to classroom blogging. Remember these guidelines should help teachers make the shift to Mindset 2 (different values than represented in traditional, teacher-centered, transmission model teaching). Some examples include: “Whose voice is prioritized in this use of classroom blogging – the teacher’s or the students’?” “Do students have enough autonomy to introduce and suggest new and valuable forms of participation through the blog?” “Is the work students are doing through the blog aligned with my disciplinary objectives for this particular class?” “Are students being taught online SAFETY and ettiquette practices that are needed for this new form of classroom participation?” Such lists like this exist online… here are a couple:
10 questions every blogger should ask before posting
8 ways blogging makes me a better teacher
4. Critical commentary on classroom blogging – Ideas? Let’s see what I can come up with…
* Why are social networking technologies necessary to address issues of social justice in the classroom?
* How might the use of social networking tools like blogging energize institutional changes in schooling? What are possible visions of what these shifts might look like in the future?
* Schools’ responsibilities to effectively nurture students’ safe, appropriate and powerful online communication practices
* NEED!!!!!! for teachers to have a new mindset – Check this blog post out for inspiration
Others? Come up with your own. One resource that could be used to inspire more ideas might be Mr.K’s on blog he has been keeping about blogging.
Post the results of your work to this blog. Read each others’ and comment. Feel free to add more after you leave the session today!
Enjoy the work!
EXPLORING REAL CLASSROOM BLOGS
We will use our co-generated list of discipline-specific goals as an analytical lens to look at real classroom blogs in action. In all four cases, the math and science teachers intend to continue to refine their use of integrating classroom blogging into their classroom culture.
First, consider checking out the voicethread each teacher prepared to help you understand the context of the blogging you will be exploring (you CERTAINLY do not need to listen to all of any one person’s comments). Then, check out the classroom blogs and look for evidence of meeting the goals we collectively outlined before.
I will ask you to report out 2 things related to each of our goals: 1) what’s being done that excites or intrigues you and 2) what seems to be the critical way this activity was implemented that allowed the benefits to be realized. If you are game, leave your comments to the blog authors on their voicethreads (either now or later…)!
Ellen’s blog (middle school, rural, integration of expert scientist, computer lab)
What are your goals for blogging in the mathematics/science classroom?
(Take a few minutes and try to list them – respond in COMMENTS.)
Okay, now to inspire you, watch a video or two from this list and then re-visit your responses?
Michael Wesch and the Future of Education (this is an hour – definitely worth watching!)
(Any important additions?)
Now, think about the same question with a slightly different emphasis:What are your goals for blogging in a MATHEMATICS/SCIENCE classroom? (i.e. What UNIQUE objectives might a science teacher have for classroom blogging? What UNIQUE objectives might a mathematics teacher have for classroom blogging?)
Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2004). Blogging as Participation: The Active Sociality of a New Literacy Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April.
SCIENCE EDUCATION AFFORDANCES OF BLOGGING TABLE
Luehmann, A.L. & Frink, 1. (under review). Student and Teacher Learning through Social Networking in Science Classrooms: Blogging as a Lived Process. Submitted by invitation to Educational Media International (May, 2008).
Robyn’s interview with Mr. K. Also contains many valuable links.
I can’t seem to get it to show up in our blog, but check out this post – 19 classroom images of students’ work on an investigation