Monday, June 29, 2009

Classroom Uses of Weblogs

Here is a very comprehensive list of ways in which you could use a blog in your classroom. These ideas were taken from: Richardson, W., (2006). Blogs, Wikis and Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Thousand Oaks: Corwin Press.

You might like to create a reflective, journal-type blog to…

- reflect on your teaching experiences
- keep a log of teacher-training experiences
- write a description of a specific teaching unit
- describe what worked for you in the classroom or what didn’t work
- provide some teaching tips for other teachers
- write about something you learned from another teacher
- explain teaching insights you gain from what happens in your classes
- share ideas for teaching activities or language games to use in the classroom
- provide some how-to’s on using specific technology in the class, describing how you used this technology in your own class
- explore important teaching and learning issues

You might like to start a class blog to…

- post class-related information such as calendars, events, home-work assignments, and other pertinent class information
- post assignments based on literature readings and have students respond to their own weblogs, creating a kind of portfolio of their work
- communicate with parents if you are teaching elementary school students
- post prompts for writing
- provide examples of classwork, vocabulary activities, or grammar games
- provide online readings for you students to read and react to
- gather and organise internet resources for a specific course, providing links to appropriate sites and annotating the links as to what is relevant about them
- post photos and comment on class activities
- invite student comments or postings on issues in order to give them a writing voice
- publish examples of good student writing done in class
- showcase student art, poetry, and creative stories
- create a dynamic teaching site, posting not only class-related information, but also activities, discussion topics, links to additional information about topics they are studying in class, and readings to inspire learning
- create a literature circle (where groups of students read and discuss the same book)
- create an online book club
- make use of the commenting feature to have students publish messages on topics being used to develop language skills
- post tasks to carry out project-based learning tasks with student
- build a class newsletter, using student-written articles and photos they take
- link you class with another class somewhere else in the world

You can encourage your students (either on your Weblog using the comments feature or on their own Weblogs) to blog…

- their reactions to thought-provoking questions
- their reactions to photos you post
- journal entries
- results of surveys they carry out as part of a class unit
- their ideas and opinions about topics discussed in class

You can have your students create their own Weblog to…

- learn how to blog
- complete class writing assignments
- create an onoing portfolio of samples of their writing
- express their opinions on topics you are studying in class
- write comments, opinions or questions on daily news items or issues of interest
- discuss activities they did in class and tell what they think about them (You, the teacher, can learn a lot this way!)
- write about class topics, using newly learned vocabulary and idioms
- showcase their best writing pieces

You can also ask your class to create a shared Weblog to…

- complete project work in small groups, assigning each group to a different task
- showcase products of project-based learning
- complete a WebQuest (an online, structured research activity)

1 comment:

  1. I also came across this list of ways in which blogs are being used in the classroom:

    What are blogs being used as?
    - Class portals – communicate information about a class and archive course materials
    - Online filing cabinets for student work – students can post their work online for peer and teacher response (a paper-less classroom environment)
    - e-portfolios – which could conceivably span many years of work
    - Collaborative space – for students online.
    - Knowledge management – internal communication, meeting minutes, store documents etc.
    - School websites – allows for a more dynamic website – with links to blogs for school groups/classrooms/departments etc.