In an earlier post, I quoted from Anne Davis who is currently conducting a great deal of research on blogging in the classroom. Anne Davis has a posting on her blog called Picture Tommorow's Schools. She says:
My day began by reading this quote..."Write daily for 15 to 30 minutes. Many scholars believe that writing requires big blocks of time. They're wrong. Research shows that scholars who write daily publish far more than those who write in big blocks of time. The problem with big blocks of time is that they're hard to find. In contrast, when you write daily, you start writing immediately because you remember what you were writing about the day before."
To me this is the greatest rationale for classroom blogging. It trains our students to write often. Students can create their own blogs as a kind of journal with your feedback and the feedback of their classmates or they can comment to your blog about different topics as regular assignments. The teacher can then provide feedback as well as moderate student comments. Anne Davis lists a number of ways to use blogs in the classroom.
Here is a Video about blogging in a High School English class posted by sheehy at TeacherTube.com.
You can check out examples of classroom by blogs by looking at the following sites:
- Resources from Safe Classroom Blogging to Improve Student Writing
- SupportBlogging.com's exhaustive list of teacher and student created blogs
- A Judaic Studies Blog devoted to learning Melachim Bet
The best place to start creating your own blog is the site that hosts my blog, http://www.blogger.com/. Education World has step by step instructions for this.
- Go to Blogger.
- Click Start Here or Learn more about it and then click to begin.
- Type in your username, password, name, and e-mail account.
- Fill in a title and description for your blogging Web page.
- Keep the circle by "Host at…."
- Type an address for your blog.
- Click to accept terms of service, and then click Next.
- Select a template and click Finish.
- Type an entry. (Maybe something like, "This is my first blog entry.")
- Choose different formatting if you wish (to bold, italic, etc.).
- Hit Post and Publish.
- Wait a few seconds and then hit View Web Page.
If you don't want to make your student blog public, it allows you to restrict viewing of the blog to only students that you choose. This way the blog can only be open to your class. You will have to regulate your blog to make sure that student postings even if they are only viewable by others in the class maintain an appropriate level and tone. If you have students blogging, you will want to post blogging rules like these.
Here is an article from EdTech magazine about rules for blogging for teachers.