Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A blog on a log

The little spider said to me,
What are the student blogs going to be?
When will they start and what will they do?
Will you and the teacher follow through?

Blogs are perhaps one of the easiest yet powerful Web 2.0 tools to engage in. Will Richardson suggests that:
"the true potential of blogs in schools come when students and teachers use them as publishing tools. . . the best way to fully understand the potential of Weblogs as a teaching and learning tool is to become a blogger" (p. 43).
Well, that is exactly what I have done with this blog. By putting myself "out there," I have opened up my writing and thoughts to the world. I think this is very similar to the experience my students would have in that I have had comments from my teacher and other students, but not from the outside world. Although I am not generally one comfortable to share with others in this way, I seem to have an awful lot of posts in my blog. I do like sharing my learning with others - perhaps that is why I am a teacher! This process has convinced me that blogging is something that students should be doing, as young as they can create the simplest posts.

Tom Whitby suggests that "blogging provides a real reason for kids to write.  The realization that an audience of more than one would be reading their work is a real incentive." As learning moves towards a collaborative and interactive experience, blogging plays a central role (Kist, 2010; Richardson, 2010)

So I am convinced! My goal is to get the Grade 3/4 class blogging after Spring Break. I sat down with the teacher a couple of weeks before the break and helped her set up her class blog in KidBlog. The teacher is somewhat uncomfortable about having kids putting things online and is worried about the responses of parents. I wrote a letter of introduction and permission letter to be sent to parents regarding the project that included some links about the value in blogging for kids.

Jenny Luca gives Six Reasons Why Kids Should Know How to Blog:

  • creating positive digital footprints
  • communicating with digital tools
  • transparency for parents and family
  • new ways of thinking about web tools
  • effective digital citizenship
  • pride in their work

20 reasons why students should blog are given by this teacher from Australia.

It is my hope that, with my guidance, this will be a successful and rewarding experience for the students, teacher and parents. By slowly taking steps to easy my school community into participation of the read/write web, we will be preparing our students for their futures.

Kist, W. (2010). The socially networked classroom: teaching in the new media age. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Corwin.

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