Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Blog at School

This is the address http://levenduskythecomputerteacher.blogspot.com/ for my blog at school that I created so parents or students can check their missing assignments.

At conferences, I always start by asking parents what their student has told them about our class. Usually the answer is "nothing". I hope my blog can help parents and their students strike up a dialog about what is going on in our class. Since most of the work we do in the class must be done at school, for a variety of reasons, I don't foresee that the blog will be used too much for missing work. However, even if one student a week can use the information to help keep up with the class, it will be worth my time to update it.

Fun Fact: I put a poll on the site to see if parents would let me know how many use the site.

Some ideas about what to do with blogs at school can be found at http://escrapbooking.com/blogging/teaching.htm
Found on the site "The Purpose and Learning Outcomes. What's the purpose of the blog? Why is the blog format being used?
Learning Outcome. What are the specific learning outcomes? What's the objective of the lesson(s)? What standards are being addressed? When used in teaching and learning, the educational outcomes must be clear to the students. This is more than I have done with blogs as of yet.

Information. What information will be shared? Where will this information originate? Most blogs are used to share information including facts, data, statistics, links to other resources, opinions, and much more. In addition to text, the blog could contain audio, video, and visuals.
Process or Product. Is the blog mostly about process or product? Blogs are often used by teachers as a tool to document the information inquiry process. I did require students to put links to additional information and sources when they created their own blog. My blog doesn't have a link as of yet.

Reflection. Blogs can be used as a meta cognitive tool to help people think about their life or learning. These reflections may be intended for themselves, their classmates, or the world. Another activity I had my students do on their blog was to reflect on a Newsweek article they read.

Interaction. Some blogs focus on communication between the person posting the entry and the people making comments. The responses may include additional information, expanded ideas, or critiques. Sometimes the most important aspect of the blog is questioning. With young children, the interaction is often between the child and the teacher. I required students to comment on their fellow classmates' blogs (at least four people per assignment). If the students could not find something worth while to comment on they could skip that person's blog. This made it more important for everyone to write well.

Assessment. Do the learning outcomes match the assessment? Sometimes blogs are used as a tool for assessment to check student understanding. Bloggers may be asked to state facts, analyze an article, or express their understandings."
As of now I have not set-up a very good system to assess student blogs.

Photo is a print screen of my blog.

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