I have never been much of a blogger or reader of blogs prior to starting the specialist program. My only venture into blogging was a family RV trip a couple of years ago written from my dog’s point of view. Apollo’s Great Adventure (Evans Heath, 2011). While travel log is not necessarily what educational blogs generally focus on I can see how something of this nature could be adapted in my classroom. In my own mind, I have also seen blogs as one directional, someone writing their thoughts almost like a diary. In reviewing the material in Richardson’s Chapter 3, I have a greater understanding of how, when, and why blogs can be integrated into a classroom.
In my development as an Instructional Technology Specialist, I read Richard Byrne’s Free Technology for Teachers blog as my go to resource for information. I read this blog on a daily basis and share tips with my peers at school. Byrne’s post about “21 Century Teacher” is a reflection how blogs can be written. While being a source for information, Byrne also voices his opinions on the latest trends and topics, sometimes in a comical manner.
Blogs can facilitate learning in various forms. Teachers could use blogs as a class portal, resource site, or a collaborative space for discussion. Blogs can be one directional with teacher providing information or thoughts or the teacher asking students to be contributors. What about weekly class bloggers? Blogs can even support differentiation with providing different types of tools and assignments for students.
As we focus more and more on the Common Core Literacy Standards in Social Studies, blogs do have their place. Blogging develops and teaches research, organization and synthesis in writing (Richardson, 2010). As we gear our students to be 21st century learners and citizens, they are able to work and learn collaboratively this can be easily be guided through blogs with students around the globe. It is his connective writing which enables student work to be share outside of classroom and provide more meaning to the writer and the reader. This outlet which allows students to reflect on their own work, provide thoughts, and feedback to others is a powerful tool. Others commenting and providing insight to a blog post further allows the author to have feedback to their writing. This also allows the writer to reflect on their own thoughts and develop in their critical thinking. Blogging gives the author a bigger audience to their writing and a greater meaning. The comments others provide to a blog validate to the author their writing is important and has value. This feedback will guide the author to continue to improve and strengthen their thoughts. These responses show meaning and purpose to their writing
As fast as our world is changing, learning is evolving with two new blogs being created every second. (Richardson, 2010).
Richardson, Will. (2010) . Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Evans Heath, C. (2011, June). [Web log message]. Retrieved from apollosgreatadventure.blogspot.com
Byrne, R. (2013, April 9). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.freetech4teachers.com/