Bill MacKenty

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How do I use blogs in my classsroom: an answer.

Posted in Blogging Educational Tech on 06 - March 2006 at 11:57 PM (18 years ago). 244 views.

I just got this great email question, and thought I’d share the answer!

I’m looking into ways to use blog based educational technologies for my students and other technology based ways to publish student writings on the internet.

Yea!!  Congratulation to you for being progressive and using technology in a really cool way!!

How do I get started?

I made up some getting started guides for new users.  There are some quuicktime videos, hopefully these will help you get started. 

Getting started with blogs, part 1

Getting started with blogs, part 2

What kinds of things do I need to be alert to,(obviously online safety), and who can I talk to that has used technology based publishing for written work in the classroom?

I have a few suggestions for you based on some hard-won experience.

1) Only create 1 blog for each class.  Don’t give each kid their own blog. It’s very difficult to manage!

2) Make sure comments are moderated.  You might want to check them first. After creating your blog, you might get a ton of comment spam.

3) Create ground-rules.  Make sure they understand not to say anything they wouldn’t say in school.

4) Enforce proper grammar.  I was quite embarrassed when my students started to post IM-speak on a public blog! Yuck!

5) Be wary of cyber-bullying. One lesson I won’t ever forget is to always monitor the blogs.  It may be helpful to subscribe to the RSS feeds for all your blogs.

6) Make sure you administrator knows! Tell your boss you doing this, keep everything above-board.  You might want to share this with some parents or the Parent-teacher organization. Be prepared to confront the myspace issue! 

7) SHARE YOUR SUCCESS!! Blog about this adventure, share your success and your failures!

8) Lastly, and most importantly, have clear learning objectives.  When this unit of instruction is over, the students will demonstrate knowledge of _____________ (or whatever verbiage you use).

Now.  As far as who you should talk with, don’t worry.  Trust google on this one. Try this google search.  Also, as you blog about this, other people will find your blog! 

Try to sign up with technorati and ping as many other blogs as you can.

Good luck!