Using blogs in the classroom


Resources for teachers


The following resources might be helpful to teachers to discover blogs and how to use them in the classroom to promote reading, writing, and thinking. They contain links to other education blogs, including those posted by teachers and students. Take some time and explore these resources.

This is a good site if you need a little background on what a blog is and the technical specifications on how to set one up. A good first stop. http://classroomtech.pbwiki.com/blogging

Another good place to start is this site, which includes examples of school blogs as well as other resources on using them. http://abpc.wikispaces.com/+Basic+Blogs

Intrested in seeing examples of how teachers, students, and administrators are using blogs? This site contains links to hundreds of blogs like that: supportblogging.wikispaces.com/Links+to+School+Blo...

This site provides a lot of information on using blogs and wikis. A good place to go after you've experienced a little and know what you're doing: http://classroomblogging.wikispaces.com/

Getting started in the class


When starting with student blogging, it is important to discuss a blogging policy. Here is a lesson plan on doing so: http://outsidethecave.blogspot.com/2007/02/responsible-blogging.html The following lesson was modified from that site used at Branford: http://millersenglish10.blogspot.com/2007/05/responsible-blogging.html

Here is the link to Miller's English 10 blog page: http://millersenglish10.blogspot. In addition, I've signed up all my public speaking students with their own blogs, which are all linked from this page: http://www.pageflakes.com/cmiller2. This page has a bunch of classroom resources as well. The student blogs can be viewed by clicking on the little windows in the right two columns.

Using blogs to teach writing


Terry Sale in Colorado posted this about how he uses classroom blogs for ongoing writing and reading assignments He also writes in an earlier post about having students blog about group projects, to keep a posting of the work they do etc. Interesting ideas.

Educational research supporting blog use


Here is a good article about making connections through the use of blogs: http://budtheteacher.typepad.com/bud_the_teacher/2007/02/framing_bloggin.html
These two posts do a nice job explaining some of the misconceptions about blogs and how best to use them in class to promote writing, literacy, and discussion. First this one: http://www.techlearning.com/blog/2007/03/a_problem_with_blogs.php and then this one, which is a little more pedagogical and discusses some of the theory behind the use of blogging: http://chalkdust101.blogspot.com/2007/03/blogs-as-conversations.html
New Jersey teacher Tom McHale explains (from Nov. 2005) how he uses blogging to teach writing in his English and journalism classes - http://tmchale.blogspot.com/2005/11/using-blogs-for-writing-instruction.html

The Pew Research Center, in a recent survey, has discovered that blogging can help make students become more prolific writers. Read the full article here.