Who can blog?

{Please read this first}

Part 1 – What is blogging?

So, who can blog?

The answer is anyone, and for a range of different purposes.

Teachers can blog…

Click this image if you wish to explore this 'notice board' style blog further

…for communication:

Teachers may use a blog as a method of communication with parents, students and other teachers. This type of blog ‘notice board’ may be have a simple posting of homework or other assignment in one easy to find location, or on the other hand may be a method of providing a richer insight to the happenings taking place in (or out of ) the classroom. It might be drawing the attention of parents to what their children have been working on or experiencing, and providing insight to children who may have been absent. Such a blog might feature a comments section where students and parents can ask questions or for clarification, allowing the teacher to provide an answer that may benefit all readers.

…for dialogue generation:

It might act as a virtual classroom, a space to post questions about a current subject matter, book the class is reading or class happenings. By posting thought-provoking questions and asking the students to respond you are introducing the idea of responding in writing and contributing collaboratively.

Click this image if you wish to explore this 'teacher for teachers' style blog further

…for other teachers:

Teachers can blog for each other about their experiences teaching, their professional development learnings, their philosophies, and their methodologies.

Students can blog…

…as part of a class blog

Click here to explore the 2011 best class blogs, as nominated by "The Edublog Awards Blog"

Teachers may like to set up a class blog that students can each comment on and contribute to. This may even form the basis of a rewards system where students can ‘earn’ their own personal blog to help create enthusiasm and increase participation

…individually

Individual students may each be given their own blog which may form the basis of their own journal or a way of submitting class work and assessments.

Mrs Morris of Grade at Leopold Primary School in Victoria gives some excellent suggestions as to how blogging can be integrated into a curriculum in her blog at:

http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/06/06/integrating-blogging-into-the-curriculum/

No two students are alike in any one classroom, and you may be concerned as to how blogging may be best utilised for a child that has a specific learning need. The truth is blogging can be presented in a way that not only the suits the learning needs of any child, but can also provide benefits for every child.

DISCUSSION POINT:

Listen to our voki case studies, choose one (or both!) and then discuss the possible barriers and potential benefits for each child in relation to a blogging active classroom so we can explore just how inclusive blogging can be!

Case Study 1 – Lucy

Case Study 2 – Jon

Part 3 – Where can you blog?

Part 4 – Why should you blog in the classroom?

Part 5 – How can you implement blogging in the classroom?

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9 thoughts on “Who can blog?

  1. calebs123 says:

    Blogging has the ability to unite and include individuals who feel limited by their own abilities and confidence. I am in no way putting down your ideas but just wonder if the type of inclusivity that blogs and related tools can create is the type of inclusivity that students need in social development. I was interested in this so I researched and found this article http://realtruth.org/news/090303-008-society.html . I just know from personal experience being an online youth, that I felt really included online, however in person I struggled to communicate socially with peers.

    • Sue Petersen says:

      Hi Caleb,
      Thank you for the link to, ‘Does Technology Stunt Children’s Social Development?’
      I found your personal insights in your last statement really interesting, “from personal experience being an online youth, that I felt really included online, however in person I struggled to communicate socially with peers”. I have been wondering about the impact that so much online communication/social networking has on the social skills and interactions of today’s children and young adults and what effect this has/will have on our society. Unlike you and coming from a different generation I would say that I have more difficulty communicating online, texting etc. I much prefer seeing or talking to a person. I also realised when we had to do online group work for our events and we could hear but not see each other (on skype) how much I use non verbal cues when connecting with people and communicating. Without the non verbal information (which can be a major part of understanding in communication) I found the group asking more clarifying questions of each other to understand meaning and if these questions weren’t asked then there was more potential for misunderstandings. Do you think that online/social networking impacts on non verbal communication practice and that this is a factor affecting in person communication and relationships?
      I am excited about the possibilities for authentic learning with ICTS and how children will readily engage with the different technologies. The Guide to social and emotional learning in Queensland state schools, states, “It is now well established in the research literature that social and emotional skills are integral parts of academic success.” And “Promoting students’ social and emotional skills is critical to improving their academic performance and their success in life”. Do you agree that it is a challenge to ensure that we do not lose sight of helping children build their social and emotional skills as a foundation for academic learning and a successful life? In what ways can we use ICTs to achieve this goal?

  2. I like the case study Jon; short but succinct; it immediately reminds the listener that our cultural diverse ways of speaking might hinder speaking presentations in front of a class. Blogging can offer that first step towards a confident feeling of belonging to a classroom of peers, who can help children grow more independence and pride in what they can do well. ICTs have a way of connectedness which promotes respect, acceptance, understanding of our different cultures.

  3. Rhonda Betts says:

    As i said in my previous post, Lucy, a reluctant writer… blogging would be perfect, she could use spell check, she could use her artistic creativity… this is the sort of activity that could really encourage a student like Lucy to come out of her shell and try something new.

  4. While this is an effective tool to learn, students should not be relying on blogs or avatars to present class work in place of say oral or written presentations. It is understandable that some students experience anxiety speaking in public, or have problems putting their thoughts into words on the page. However, interpersonal and presentation skills are something they need after school when they enter the workforce. They will not be able to rely on an avatar talking for them or creating a blog to talk to their boss. There is certainly a place for it but not in place of a critical skill.

  5. Daina says:

    I see the point of using an avatar or blog in both situations. I worry though that this can give a student an option to opt out. The skill they dread because they are not as good as others, is not going to improve unless they practice these skills. I would see these options as being a positive if used as supportive tools rather than “in place of” tools. I think students would love using these tools within their learning environment however due diligence should be taken to ensure that avoidance is not the driving force and that the student is given support to overcome their situation.

    • calebs123 says:

      I totally agree with what you are saying, it’s potential for a supporting tool is great but not as a substitute. Covering up struggles with fundamental skils such as social interactions and communication will only lead to further difficulties in future pathways of the student. Addressing these issues is the key to providing the skills necessary to our students to achieve their potential in life choices.

  6. Rhonda Betts says:

    I also see the downsides of using the blog or avatar. however a great teacher should be able to use what is at their fingertips to enhance learning anyway that is possible. If it is through rewards and stickers, or the option to video blog to get a student motivated to learn I say do it! And no, there is no need to forget the fundamentals of classroom lore, which is still pencil and paper and the need to know how to read and write.

  7. Sue Petersen says:

    I think that both of the blogs are good inclusive examples of ways these students can participate. In both of the examples the children recognise that they have certain difficulties. I would argue with the posts that suggest that using an avatar blog could be an ‘opt out option’ or ‘covering up struggles with fundamental skills’. The planned outcomes of the activity are not stated, however focusing on these children’s difficulties of written work or oral presentation will not help them achieve as much as finding a way that they are comfortable to participate i.e. by using the avatar/blog. This way the children can acceptably participate in the blog activity and begin to develop their voice and their confidence, develop a sense of satisfaction and achievement and become confident learners. It is a great example of being able to use ICTs to cater to individual children’s learning styles and learning needs.

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