Blogging

There are a few educational blogging sites. I LOVE the one I am using for this blog/portal - 21classes.com - Cool I love how quick it is, how it does all the navigational set up for me and how easy it is to add a blogroll of student users! We are modeling this technology for you so you can see how we set it up.

21CLASSES - http://21classes.com/ - Now limits each teacher account to TEN free student accounts. You use to be able to add enough for an entire class. Sample Blog - http://crew.21classes.com/ - You could also make a category for each student and have each of their posts classified under their category (name). Categories will NOT show up on the navigation until each category has been assigned at least one post.

CLASS BLOGMEISTER - http://classblogmeister.com/index.php 

EDUBLOGS  - http://edublogs.org/ - uses WORDPRESS. (My Sample -http://jsparks.edublogs.org/)

WORDPRESS - http://wordpress.com/ (My Sample - http://ironmom.wordpress.com/ - You can set up unlimited pages, which can appear on the navigation. Here is a sample where I added three pages (one for each student) - this requires that all students and teachers be sharing one blog. This is not an "education only" blog site.

BLOGGER - https://www.blogger.com/start - This is not an "education only" blog site. The "next" button at the top of a blog allows your studnets access to a host of other blogs - and some may have inappropriate content.

If you decide to blog on a site like blogger.com, students have access to materials that anyone is blogging about and that may cause some issues in your classroom - that is why we suggest staying with the educational versions that we listed above.

(We would also like to add that sites that use to be free has now opted to a "pay for service".  As with most free online tools, most switch to paid sites or features once they have you roped in, or they allow advertizing on your blog to allow it to remain free. You have no control of what ads appear.)

SAMPLE BLOGS -

Mrs. Cassidy's Grade One Classroom Blog - http://classblogmeister.com/blog.php?blogger_id=1337%20 

Kakos' 1st Hour English - Grade 10 - http://kakos1english.blogspot.com/

Consumer Math 20 Class - http://cm20sf07.blogspot.com/ (uses scribes)


Blogging - As an Educational Tool

Classroom uses of Weblogs (Blogging)

Reflect on your teaching and learning experiences

Write a description of a specific teaching unit

Provide tips for parents to extend learning at home

Post class-related information such as calendars, events, home work, and other important information

Post assignments based on literature readings and have students respond in their own blogs, creating a portfolio of their work

Post prompts for writing

Post samples of class work

Encourage students to post responses to your posts - maybe an online reading is suitable for your students to read and react to

Post photos and comment on class activities

Invite students to post comments to give them a writing voice

Showcase student artwork, writing, poetry

Create a dynamic teaching and learning site which contains discussions, pictures, ideas, activities, links to additional information

Create online literature circles (groups of students read and discuss the same book)

Build a class newsletter, using student written articles and photos they take

Link your class with another class somewhere else in the world.

Post results of surveys they have taken in class

Have students create their own blogs to complete class writing assignments

Create an ongoing portfolio sample of their work

Pretend they are a character in a book you are reading and set up a blog as that character - reacting to the events in the story

Students could respond to current events and daily news

Discuss activities done in class and their opinion of them and the learning that took place

 

(List from "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms" by Will Richardson)

Other suggestions from November Learning, Inc. include:

  • Using a blog as an online filing cabinet - students and teachers can upload and store assignments, links, plans and handouts. Audio files (Podcasts) can also be uploaded and downloaded from some blogs
  • Collaborative tools - Students can extend conversations outside the classroom, and collaborate with invited guests from around the world and from within the community.
  • Literature Circles and Book Clubs
  • Online Discussions
  • Professional Development
  • Writing tools