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What is the Pedagogical Potential of Blogs?

  • Challenges teachers and students to think about writing in authentic ways
  • Precise economical writing
  • Regular and timely responses
  • Engage people in knowledge sharing, reflection, and debate
  • Capture and disseminate student and faculty generated content
  • SupportBlogging - wiki set up to help promote an understanding of the benefits of educational blogging.

Introduce blogging with paper blog posts. Put a paper post on the wall, responders to original post do the same

10 Habits for Blogging

Blogging: The New Persuasive Essay 

I think blogging is the new persuasive essay. If we’re trying to prepare our students to think critically and argue well, they need to be able to blog. It allows for interaction. It allows for ideas to be tested. And the best posts anywhere in cyberspace tend to have a point that can be argued. Read it here.

Blogging prompts for responses

_ Do you agree with this?
_ What do you think?
_ Why do you think that?
_ How do you know?
_ Can you be sure?

_ You may be surprised that I ...

Terrific resources for starting discussions and incorporating multimedia click

Additional Commenting Rules 

  • Consider strengths and weaknesses
  • Start with strengths
  • If you have something nice to say, say - and give specifics
  • If you have criticism, say it nicely (Constructive criticism is helpful not vindictive)

Evaluating Blogs – Rubric

Six Assessment points for Student Blogs
❶ How well did student writing address the curricular topic and/or
discussion theme?
❷ How well reasoned was the logic of what students wrote?
❸ How well developed was the writing?
❹ To what extent was their writing analytical about the topic?
❺ How well did they communicate their thinking?
❻ To what extent did their blog generate real discussion?

  • Classroom Examples

  • Terrific resources for starting discussions and incorporating multimedia click
  • Online student portfolios of filing cabinets where assignments or projects are stored
  • Book Blogs: Online Interactive Literature Circles
  • Weblogs in Higher Education
    The site includes pedagogical suggestions, as well as, blogs of interest.

  • Extending classroom time - continuing class discussions or posing questions for students to consider before coming to class. This gives quieter students the opportunity to participate. Students may also find this medium helpful as they have more time to formulate their thoughts.
  • Participate in a debate as a social conversation involving competing perspectives without the physical intimdation of face3-to-face interactions.
  • Cross-Cultural or International Exchanges
  • Class portals where teachers keep homework assignments, links, handouts, syllabi, etc..
  • Collaborative writing spaces where students read and give feedback to one another
  • Peer review
  • Reader's guides for literature study, newspapers, and project sites where students create and contribute all content
  • Blog Booker  BlogBooker allows you to produce Pdf blog books from all your blog entries and comments. These can be generated from any blog running on Wordpress, Livejournal or Blogger. The whole process takes about 3 or 4 minutes. Once your exported file is submitted the file is verified and then all your images are linked and found and the whole thing is assembled as a book.
    This is great for teachers who regularly use blogs but for whatever reason need printouts. Not everyone is comfortable marking online or sometimes your Subject Co-ordinator requires evidence of learning. This is the answer.
  • create an Online persona, e.g., historical figure or character from literature
  • Post math problems and science related questions and have students explain why and how they solved it that way and then comment on their fellow students’ answers
  • Building community - build a sense of community that that fosters learning and sharing ideas.

 

Novel Games offers more than 200 games that you can embed into your blog, wiki, or website for free.

Blogging Host Sites 

Show Your Students How Far Their Blogs Can Reach 

  • ClustrMaps is a free service that you can use to show students the global traffic sources of their blogs. ClustrMaps will display a real-time map of where in the world visitors are when they visit your blog. To get a ClustrMap for your blog just visit ClustrMaps.com, enter your blog's URL, and enter your email address. After your URL and email address are verified you will be able to get a ClustrMaps embed code to place anywhere on your blog. 
  • Blogger users have a built-in set of visitor statistics that will show you where your visitors are coming from. To access these statistics select "Stats" from the drop-down menu next to the name of your blog when you sign-in at Blogger.com. Video tutorial

Kidblog
Designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. No need for student email addresses.
Kidblog Video Tutorials scroll down to middle of page Text Directions to set up | (New Kidblog Features tutorial video including using the Secret Code feature for creating a class)

Youngzine a source of news, sports, and entertainment stories for elementary school students. It also now offer a classroom blogs feature. Youngzine classroom blogs enable teachers to create a private online space for their students to use to discuss news stories. As a teacher you can register your students on Youngzine and assign them to your classroom. Then within your Youngzine classroom you can assign articles for your students to read, ask them to response to articles and discussion prompts, and view their scores on the Youngzine weekly quiz.

An iOS app designed so early childhood to elementary school students have an easy way to publish a online journal

QuadBlogging is a free service that matches four classrooms together to follow and comment on blog posts. Register your class for QuadBlogging and you will be matched with three other similar classrooms. After being matched, it is up to you and the other teachers in your quad to continue the blogging relationship for as long as you would like. Learn more about the QuadBlogging concept in the video

ePals ePals offers a free blog to K12 educators worldwide. It got an award as "best blog for education" from Teaching & Learning Magazine in December 2006. When it's used with the Global Community and free student email, teachers have powerful ways to connect students to 21st century learning and to classrooms in 200 other countries and territories. Teachers can set different levels of monitoring, even for individual students. Teachers and students can make pages public, or limit blog views to particular audiences, including workgroups within a class. Students can upload files or photos, create polls, use a calendar. Having the "top level" public increases communication with parents.


Blogger
Good gateway for novices.
A Complete Guide to Using Blogger In School.

 setup instructions handout | Blogger Part 1 Blogger Part 2 | screencast tutorials | Blogger Help channel on YouTube. | downloading blog | How to Limit access to Blogger Posts
Google has introduced their new feature for Blogger called "Google Scribe". click for review of options Google Scribe is text suggestions and auto complete feature, which can now be found in Blogger in Draft. Google Scribe helps you write more efficiently by suggesting common words and phrases as you type.  Setting you should know: scheduling posts, moderate comments and adding multiple authors click hereHow to Add RSS Feeds and A Blog Roll to Your Blogger Blog

How to Enable or Disable Google+ Settings in Blogger 

If you use Blogger and or your students use Blogger, you may have noticed that Blogger is now automatically posting to Google+ whenever you publish a new blog post. You can disable this feature in the Google+ menu on Blogger. In that same menu you can also enable or disable Google+ comments. The two screenshots below provide directions on how to enable or disable Google+ settings in Blogger. 
 
Blogger for iPad

Blogger for iPad Guide  you will find more than just directions for using Blogger. You’ll find ideas for blogging activities to do with your students as well as lots of tips that I’ve picked up through seven years of using

16 Add-ons to a Blog


NowComment - Turn any document into a class discussion with a commenting system that appears right next to the text. Watch the overview video at the site. Unlike traditional blogs this tool supports threaded discussions and juxtaposes a document next to the discussion board.

Classchatter - Another free blog site devoted to education with security features that are useful to the classroom. This site is definitely worth a visit with some added features that just might pump up the creativity in your classroom. You may wish to learn more about Classchatter on this page

BlogBooker is a free service that allows you to turn your the contents of your Blogger blog into a PDF. Using BlogBooker is a fairly straight-forward process. BlogBooker walks you through each step of the process except for the very first step which might sound a little too "techy" for some Blogger users, but it's actually quite easy. The first step in using BlogBooker is to export the contents of your blog as an XML file. This is actually easy to do in Blogger. Step one is to open the "settings" menu of your Blogger blog. Step two is to select "export blog" under "basic" menu. Step three is to click "download." Don't worry, exporting the contents of your blog will not remove any content from your blog. After you've completed the export process, jump over to BlogBooker and follow their directions for completing the transition from XML file to PDF. 

Quadblogging.net The site connects your class with three other classes from around the world and each class takes turns responding to one of the class's blog. A school will blog while the others view/comment and then rotate around while a educational moderator checks to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Wordpress
Simple and powerful WPBeginner offers free video and written tutorials for all of the basics and then some WordPress Manual | Creating | Video tutorial | downloading

Penzu Personal journal

Quickly Create Audio Messages for Your Blog 

  • SoundCloud is a great tool for creating short audio recordings. Those recordings can be embedded into blog posts. The feature of SoundCloud that makes it worth using instead of just embedding a recording from another service is that listeners can tie their comments to an exact moment in a SoundCloud recording. This means that if something twelve seconds into the recording triggers a thought in a students’ mind she can tie that comment to that exact moment
  • Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone. To create a recording just go to Vocaroo.com, click record, grant Vocaroo access to your mic, and start talking. After completing your recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again. Vocaroo provides the option to embed the recording anywhere. 

  • Audio Pal is a free service that allows you to quickly and easily record audio messages to post your blog or website. You can record your Audio Pal message by phone, through your computer's microphone, or by uploading a recording. Messages are limited to sixty seconds so you must be succinct.  When you have a recording with which you're happy, enter your email address and an embed code will be sent to you almost immediately.
  • Voki is a service that allows users to create animated audio avatars that they can embed into their wikis, blogs, and websites.  Voki does offer an ad-free version of their service for educators.

Web Doc - Multimedia Conversations Made Easy

ChatWing is a free service that you can use to put a live chatbox into your blog or website. The service actually creates a micro social network that you can use in your blog - that's where the chatbox comes in - or as a stand-alone service. When you sign up for ChatWing you're taken to a screen to create your ChatWing network. On that same page you can customize and test your chatbox. After you have settled on the design of your chatbox you can grab the embed code to install ChatWing on your blog or website.

How to Place an Image-based Quiz in Your Blog

How to Make Posts Sticky in WordPress, Kidblog, and Edublogs When you're using blogs in your classroom there may be some posts that you want to keep at the top of the page rather than letting them get pushed down by new entries. For example, if you're students are contributing to a group blog, you might want to keep the instructions post pinned to the top of the list of posts. Or you might want to keep a reminder about an upcoming due date posted at the top of the page.

Collaborize Your Classroom
Free online discussion created for classrooms.|
Good support for classroom implementation | video intro

Voice Thread
A collaborative multimedia slide show where people can discuss and respond to images through text or voice. All browser-based. VoiceThreads: Extending the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums article with lesson ideas.

Posterous - a very simple publishing platform that works well for class blogging; Used online; Free 

BlogBooker - Produces pdf blog book from your blog entries and comments.. Archives can be generated from WordPress, Blogger and LiveJournal

More Blogging Resources


Articles

Ten Ways to evaluate Blogs  

Blogging Rules
What are blogging rules to consider?


Blogging: The New Persuasive Essay Shelley Wright
I think blogging is the new persuasive essay. If we’re trying to prepare our students to think critically and argue well, they need to be able to blog. It allows for interaction. It allows for ideas to be tested. And the best posts anywhere in cyberspace tend to have a point that can be argued. Read it here.

Online Communities
The article discusses the communication potential for blogs and podcasts.

Improving Student Learning with Online Discussions
How to model and prepare students for online discussions. Also some unique ideas for discussions.

HIgh Tech Reflection Strategies Make Learning Stick

To Blog or Not to Blog
The pros and cons of blogging and podcasting with suggestions on getting started in a classroom environment.

Instructional Strategies for Blogging
While the notion of "finding individual voice" is not new to the learning process, technology such as blogging has presented a unique opportunity for teachers and students to work intentionally at this process. The notion of individual voice, however, is difficult to manage and evaluate. How individual is a comment? How personalized is the voice of the student? Are students aware of a developing voice? Does this voice raise the confidence of the student in the learning process? Do students perceive the blogging process as helpful or just another task/assignment?...

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