Ways to Use Blogs in The Classroom
The following ideas are based on suggestions made by Anne Davis
"1) Students can use blogs to create a reflective, community-generated journal to reflect on their learning experiences.
2) Provide some how-to type instructions on using specific skills/strategies in the class
3) Explore important issues. "
"Teachers can use a blog to...
1) Post class-related information such as calendars, events, homework assignments, rubrics, and other pertinent class information.
2) Post assignments based on literature readings/content-specific concepts and have students respond.
3) Communicate with administrators, other teachers, parents, community members, and/or anyone else interested in what students are doing.
4) Post prompts for writing.
5) Provide examples of classwork, vocabulary activities, or explanations of concepts.
6) Provide online readings for your students to read, research, and react to.
7) Gather and organize Internet-based resources/rubrics for a specific course, providing links to appropriate sites and annotating the links as to what is relevant about them.
8) Post photos/links to downloadable files and comment on class activities.
9) Invite student comments or postings on issues in order to give them an opportunity to develop a writing voice.
10 Publish examples of good student work completed in class.
11) Showcase student questions, observations, work, ideas, art, poetry, and creative stories.
12) Create a dynamic teaching site, posting not only class-related information, but also activities, discussion topics, links to additional information about topics students are studying in class, and suggested/selected readings to inspire learning.
13) Create a reading circle based on content-specific reading passages.
14) Create an online book club (note: books can be fiction, nonfiction, or merely related to a concept being explored).
15) Make use of the commenting feature to have students publish messages on topics (thereby giving them an opportunity to practice giving constructive feedback).
16) Post tasks to carry out project-based learning tasks with students.
build a class newsletter, using student-written articles and photos they take.
17) Link your class with another class somewhere else in the world."
Anne continues, "You can encourage your students to use a blog to share...
1) their reactions to thought-provoking questions.
2) their reactions to photos you post.
3) journal entries.
4) results of surveys they carry out as part of a class unit.
5) their ideas and opinions about topics discussed in class."
And, Anne goes on, "You can have your students create their own weblogs to...
1) complete class writing assignments.
2) create an ongoing portfolio of samples of their writing.
3) express their opinions on topics you are studying in class.
4) write comments, opinions, or questions on daily news items or issues of interest.
5) discuss activities they did in class and tell what they think about them (You, the teacher, can learn a lot this way!).
6) write about class topics, using newly-learned vocabulary words and idioms.
7) showcase their best writing pieces."
Anne concludes, "You can also ask your class to create a shared weblog to...
1) complete project work in small groups, assigning each group a different task.
2) showcase products of project-based learning.
3) complete a WebQuest."
With all these ideas that Anne Davis has listed, perhaps you have found some that appeal to you. Which would you consider?
Cartoon image found on Dave Walkers Cartoon WebBlog. Other images are readily available online and found at numerous URLs.