Blogs for education

A blog is a publication mechanism, like a journal or bulletin. Blogs can promote open dialogue and encourage community building in which both the bloggers and commenters exchange opinions, ideas, and attitudes. Teachers can use a blog to publish instructional materials that the students can access to and where the students can make comments. Teachers can also let students set up their own blogs for a particular subject or for several subjects and then assign tasks to students. The tasks should be done using blogs (i.e., publishing articles and sharing them with other students). While the students develop their own blogs, teachers can observe and monitor the students' progress, and identify the learning needs that have not been considered (e.g., students may directly or indirectly express their doubts on blogs). As the information on students' blogs are growing, teachers need to classify, summarise and evaluate different students' blogs and then publish the teachers' opinions, directions, and feedback on their own blogs or on class blogs. By doing this, teachers are actually putting students to the right tracks, because if you just let students publish what ever they like, the use of blog could be out of control, and the relevance between the blog and the content being taught and learning will be reduced. Watch a video on Blogs.

Examples of Blog providers: Blogger, WordPress, and education specific: manila, classblogmeister, global teacher.

Examples of blogs for education

  • eJourney with technokids is the professional blog of Anne Mirtschin. It also has great examples of the online challenges she is setting for her students. Links on the right of the page take you to other teacher and student blogs. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Skippy is one of the students at Hawkesdale P-12 schools personal blogs. It is full of ideas, writing and fun applications such as Voki. It is also a great example of a student keeping themselves safe online by not publishing too much personal information. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Bright Ideas by the School Library Association Victoria showcases great resources and uses of technology by Victorian Schools. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Readers Cup - a blog also by SLAV to support the Premier's Reading Challenge. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Connect highlights fantastic online resources for teachers and students. Use as a tool to encourage your students to 'comment' in a responsible way (comments are checked before they appear). (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)

Nominated best class blogs in 2008

Ideas and tips on using blogs for educational purposes

  • Downes (2004) concludes how blogs are used in education in detail, including replacing the standard class Web page, linking to Internet items relating to courses, organising class seminars and to provide summaries of readings, and grading the students’ efforts of creating blogs. He also introduces two categories of blogging software: hosting services and installed applications. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Johnson (2007) provided 20 usability tips for blogging. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Huffaker (2005) explored the role of weblogs in promoting literacy in classroom settings. Literacy remains paramount in learning, not only for language development, but also as the foundation of all academic disciplines including science and mathematics. Storytelling ignites literacy and remains an important part of life from childhood through adulthood. Weblogs resemble personal journals or diaries and provide an online venue where self-expression and creativity is encouraged and online communities are built. Therefore weblogs provide an excellent tool where storytelling and literacy advance for both individual expressions and collaborative learning. Furthermore, weblogs can be used across academic disciplines, making it a viable tool for educational technologists. Find out more (pdf). (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • Bright ideas is a blog by SLAV where school library staff can share ideas on how they can use Web 2.0 tools in their library and in their school. We hope that it inspires you to think about how you can use some of the tools in your school. (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)
  • The phenomenon of blogs and theoretical model of blog use in educational contexts -Kim (2007) (pdf). (retrieved Jan 25, 2011)

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