Blogs for classroom discuss and group projects

I am not a teacher but I do get the opportunity to teach people how to use technology in my work.

In a classroom scenario, knowing that security and rights issues always come up, my first step would be to review the school board’s online policy if any and ensure that the blogging activities guidelines are made known to my students and with a letter to parents/guardians to inform them of what we are doing.

My goal for using the blog in the classroom would be

  • to initiate discussion and collaboration on a topic we have already treated in class.
  • to evaluate what the students took out of the lesson
  • to explore the possibilities of grouping students for assignment based on strengths and weaknesses in the subject area
  • to encourage positive peer-to-peer assessment of each other’s work
  • to explore the possibility of developing acceptance of people who ideally would have been the loners
  • explore the possibility of developing camaraderie through blogging and seeing how that camaraderie plays out in the classroom
  • to watch out for the online diamonds in the rough

My approach would be to assign unique identity to each student known only to me and the student with each identity. My reason for using unique identities for the students is

  • to encourage a level playing ground and avoid students responding to only those they consider their friends and possibly leaving some people out.
  • Another reason is so that the responses are without bias or prejudice as much as possible.

As the teacher, I would be moderator of the blog and will not publish any work that could be considered inappropriate based on the school boards guidelines for online activities.

I would start with a private blog where our work will only be visible to members of the blog and extend that to some other school blogging team for collaboration. This is to allow my students to know that there are others out there doing the same thing and they can collaborate with someone from across the globe to explore similar interests. The other reason would be to create the awareness that the globe is there stage and not just their locality and so they need to present themselves at their best.

 The different blogs have different reasons why I would like to use them, it is hard for me to decide until I take a deeper look at the features.

However, right away I find Tumblr attractive because of it’s mobilability. This means that I can have the students use their mobile phones to do the exercise because it will probably make them feel safer and more comfortable. It is free!

  Wordpress I probably have a bias for because that is the platform I am used to thanks to ETEC! This is the only platform I can say I have used and know about better than any in the list. It is reputable and free too.

Edublog is attractive to me too because I think it would have the potential to do academic collaboration in a community of bloggers working with similar online guidelines and subject matter. The only snag is I may not get enough from the free subscription and would rather not pay for it when there are free blogs avalaible.

Googleblog is probably the last on my list because I think it is a huge domain which may not handle privacy and security like I would want- possibly. However, being free does make it attractive.

Posted in: Week 07: Blogs