Using Blogs to Integrate Technology in the Classroom
This article was written by a veteran teacher of 22 years who found the web technology of blogging to be a very successful tool in the classroom. A blog is an online tool that allows individuals to easily publish written texts, pictures, links, etc. onto their own webpage. The article addresses four main ways that blogs can be beneficial to students. These include: 1) highly motivating for students who might not otherwise participate 2) excellent opportunities for students to read and write 3) effective form of collaboration and discussion 4) enables scaffolding and mentoring to occur. In the classroom, they can be used by teachers and students alike. However, it is important to remember that anytime students are on the internet a risk is involved. For this reason, it is important to remember some main points before allowing students to enter the blogging world. These include: 1) inform parents and receive permission 2) teach students safe and appropriate behavior as online readers and authors 3) review rules of student access 4) warn students about not posting complete names, email addresses, or so forth that might reveal identity or location.
When the time is appropriate, there is a number of different ways that blogs can be used in the classroom. The article lists several main ways which include: 1) classroom management: teachers can post assignments, handouts, notices, and classroom assignments on blogs 2) collaboration: teachers can post feedback to students’ writing and students can peer review each other’s work 3) discussions: teachers and students can post ideas and comment on other’s ideas 4) student portfolios: students can display and store all of their classwork on a single webpage that is easily accessible and can be viewed by teachers and peers. I believe that blogging can be used with a wide variety of students in grades ranging from K-12. However, for lower grades, I believe that it would be more beneficial for the teacher to create a blog and the students make contributions with the teacher’s help. However, higher grades would be more able to create their own individual blogs as they would have more computer skills. As a future high school social studies teacher, I could definitely use the web technology of blogging in my classroom in a variety of ways. I really liked the idea of using blogs as a way to create a student portfolio. Teachers often require students to create their own portfolios on paper. However, a blog would reduce the use of paper and make the students work easily accessible. It also would allow students to view each other’s work which I believe sparks even more imagination. If I wanted to use blogging on a smaller scale, then I could just incorporate it into a class project. For example, a student would have to create a blog about a historical figure or event. In any shape or form, blogging is an excellent tool that should definitely be taken advantage of in the classroom.