Inspiration for Leaders

Enjoy this news and reflection blog brought to you from the LHRIC Technology Leadership Institute!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Blogging in the Literacy Rich Classroom - Workshop Feedback

Today I was fortunate to work with a very enthusiastic group of teachers and administrators. We explored a variety of applications for using blogs in a literacy rich classroom. We also took a minor segway into planning and guidelines for blogging. Below is our collective thinking on the topic. Feel free to comment on your own experiences with blogging in K-12 education. Many thanks to Victor for sharing his very extensive, well-planned ELA classroom blog (and his baby pictures!).

Our Collective Thinking About Blogging
  • Planning - Be proactive in planning on every aspect of your blog - including making sure building administration is aware and approves of your blogging project.
  • Differentiation/Classroom Management - Consider using “meme” to control the number of comments on any given post and to solicit higher level thinking around a topic by limiting the involvement in the discussion. You can schedule student groups, or invite students based on readiness and interest levels for differentiation. The term "Meme" refers to a unit of information which can propagate from one mind to another. As it relates to blogs - you can invite specific people (students) to respond to a posting.
  • Differentiation/Security - Control the timing and levels of publishing based on student readiness level and security policies within your school/district.
    •Student Assessment - Great way to show progress and improvement in student writing over time.
  • Planning - Be cautious with “meme” in that the people you are inviting to contribute want and can contribute. We thought you may not be able to control this – needs further research.
  • Planning - How spontaneous do you want the blog to be? Should students word process the posting prior to posting?
  • Curriculum - Use blogs as an instructional tool when teaching the writing process – getting ideas, writing a thesis statement, introductory sentences, supporting details, conclusion, etc. Have students submit samples in response to a prompt and have assess the submissions peer to peer assess.
  • Curriculum - Community project blog, each group uses the blog to collect information about what the have learned, continually adding to it as a way to collect notes. In the end they use the information on the blog to create a final project as a paper or presentation.
  • Planning - Decide what type of access you want or are able to provide. (e.g. do students have district email? If so consider inviting students to the blog. This will require a student email account and we suggest only doing this if your school/district has an implemented student safe email solution.
  • Classroom Management - require moderation so that teachers/blog creator will get an email notice and the blog comments/replies will not be published without them allow or delete for posting (consider the time for this task).
  • Classroom Management - Set clear guidelines and instructions for students and post right on the front of the blog.
  • Classroom Management - All blog postings should have students names in the post if you do NOT have them using “school safe & approved” email accounts.
  • Classroom/School Management - Guidelines from Byram blog (Victor’s demonstration) - How do I submit my comment?
    Student instructions: “You are to leave the name, website, and url text boxes blank. After you and your partner write a comment - sign it by typing both of your names (first names only) after your comment. Then you can submit it. Remember, I will not approve any comment that does not do this!

No comments: