Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thing #4

As I mentioned previously, I am a blogging fan. I can see so many applications for this forum of communication. Some of the most interesting ways that I saw when browsing was the idea of using the blog to connect one classroom to another somewhere around the world. How amazing would it be to set up a blog with a class in Australia where the students could share their ideas, customs, pictures, videos etc. with one another. This is the modern forum for pen-pals!

I particularly liked Joyce Valenza's PowerPoint Reform blog. I can not agree more with her views on PowerPoint being overused in school by both the teachers and the students. I think that she is correct in saying that it is time to move beyond the old standard best practice rules and allow the students and teachers creative license to explore and expand their presentations.

Can I just say that I cracked up when I read Duck with a Blog! It is too cute to see how kids think. What a great way to have elementary kids not only learn new technology, but to practice their reading and writing skills while learning about animals. I loved this one!

I enjoyed looking through these blogs and seeing what other people are doing. I could definitely see a blog being utilized is to keep parents and students informed about what is going on in the classroom. It would be so easy to keep a current lesson plan and school event calendar on the blog for a classroom or library so that students and parents could check it at anytime to see what is going on. Teachers could provide links to homework, worksheets, video tutorials, and even helpful websites for those parents who want to be active in their child's education. This would also be a great way for the students to post questions and comments and get responses from not only the teacher, but from each other. This may pose a problem in that some students would post inappropriate comments, but by setting the blog up for all comments to be filtered through e-mail, this could be monitored.

As Ann Davis points out in her blog A Rationale for Educational Blogging it is important to realize that the writing style and format of a blog is not what is traditionally taught or seen in a classroom, so both the teachers and the students have to adjust and modify their expectations. This is not to say that quality writing is not expected, it is just a different format than the traditional 5 paragraph essay.

Another problem with this type of blog would be the time needed to maintain it. Overall, I can definitely see myself creating multiple blogs and utilizing them in a variety of ways. I already have several :^)


LonghornMom said...

Selena, I am enjoying reading your blog. Your insights make me think. It is intriguing to browse blogs and see what other people are doing with their thoughts in and out of the classroom.

Blog writing is unique in its own right. As teachers in the 21st century we do need to adjust our expectations to make blogging work in the classroom.

I agree that it is a lot of work to maintain a blog, but I feel it is worth it in the end.

Devoted Bookmama said...

You must be on fast forward. Your blog so makes me think of you. You and the girls must be spending hours online. I'm anxious to read through all of your blogs (you are so far ahead of where I am). I did pursue the blog on PowerPoint and appreciated the way it actually demonstrated the student's mastery of what was being presented. The PowerPoint on how not to do one was interesting in itself.

I did try the Duck with a Blog, but I didn't have the same luck as you did with it. BTW our turtle population increased from 2 to 4 (my daughter-in-law contributed two red eared sliders found in their pool). I definitely look forward to reading all of your blog when I get my assignments done! :)

Shannon Mims said...

Selena, you crack me up and make me tired. I have to say I'm glad you're doing this b/c I know I will need your help when we get back to school.

What struck me the most was your idea of blogging with a classroom somewhere else in the world. I'm speaking strictly from the perspective of the kids we have at our school (who, for the most part, have never been past Dallas, much less to another side of the world), but how amazing would it be for them to get a view of the world from someone (their own age) on the other side of the world??

I've never blogged before b/c the only view I had of it was something of an online diary. How much more are the possibilities for blogging out there than I had ever imagined!

Shanda said...

I love your blog, and I am inspired to learn more to update mine! I can't wait to read through the rest of your posts. I agree with helping our students connect with others around the world.