Blogs

The Common Craft guys say it best, as always. Watch this video and jot down on the Discussion Tab at the top of this page some ways you think you could use a blog in your own classroom.








Blogs are one of the most effective tools to encourage students to write, reflect and respond critically and appropriately. Blogsalso have a wealth of information in them so students need to evaluate the information discriminately. Blogs have been used by educators in many unique ways such as students blogging as a character from literature and responding to each other's blogs in character.

Blogs can be effective educational tools in the following ways:
1) they promote verbal and visual literacy through dialogue and storytelling;
2) they allow opportunities for collaborative learning; and
3) they are accessible and equitable to a variety of age groups and developmental stages in education.


Blogger (www.blogger.com) is a free service that allows you or your students to create a web log, or blog, to post ideas online and have others in the class reply. It’s great for promoting dialogue; helps those not inclined socially, culturally, or linguistically to raise their hands in class; and can support anonymous posts. While Blackboard/Moodle has a similar function, I think Blogger’s user interface is better and, more important, it will be available to students after graduation.


Using Blogs in Social Studies
Another great idea on a blog is to have a Clustr Map. Do you know your audience? You will with ClustrMaps! Visitors don't need to click on anything: just viewing your page is sufficient. They provide (free) the HTML that gives you a tiny map, like the one below. When it loads, it increments a counter and shows the locations of all visitors to your page, cumulatively (even for huge numbers). Clicking on it zooms in to a big world map, and (optionally) lets you zoom in to the continents, as in the example above. For light users (under 2500 visitors daily) the service is free, forever, and stores cumulative totals up to millions of visitors.
Locations of visitors to this page
This is a great idea for any content area. Your classroom can track the locations of anyone who visits your site.


external image pdf.png Educational Blogging Article.pdf
external image pdf.png Huffaker2005_LetThemBlog.pdf
BBC Blogging Article

The Polliwog Journal
Peer Editing with Weblogs

Teaching in the 21st Century Blog Example
Testerman Blog Example