Blogging in Irving ISD

I will be using this post to instruct some teachers in Irving ISD on Wednesday, June 7th about blogs – what they are, how they work, how they might use them in class, etc. Feel free to leave us some comments about how you use blogs in the classroom.

What is a blog? According to Wikipedia, a blog (or weblog) is, “a web-based publication consisting primarily of periodic articles, most often in reverse chronological order… A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic.”

  • Blogs allow the reader and/or writer to make connections to other topics through hyperlinking.
  • Blogs also allow a door to the outside world; they allow people from outside of your classroom to comment on your students writing and ideas (if you allow them access – which I highly recommend).

So, why blog? What is the big deal?

Nancy McKeand, a teacher in Louisiana and an educational blogger, asked this question on her blog and below is a sampling of highlights from what she received

  • Foster conversation and discussion
  • Writing practice
  • Contact with those outside the classroom – in other countries even
  • To raise the awareness of issues
  • Responsibility to educate students about new technologies and their benefits
  • Give the students insight in your lesson planning and a voice
  • Authentic writing – gives students a voice and an audience
  • “Allows students to learn about connecting their ideas with others, revise their thinking and consider the ideas of others”
  • “The blog knocks down the walls of the classroom with an energy that no other homework assignment has; I love looking at the time and date that my students post their comments and finding that they’ve carried a class discussion into Friday night or Sunday afternoon. What good is class if it’s contained within the school day? Learning happens when they make connections between class and the TV that’s on in the background or a conversation that they just had over dinner. This is what the blog provides.”
  • A learning tool – professional development
  • Engage students
  • Provides feedback through comments
  • Opens the discussion about validating sources
  • Teach effective communication through emerging formats – not just face-to-face

Okay, okay, I get it, but how can I use blogs in the classroom?

Lucky for you, I have written a previous post with a list of ideas. 🙂

Now let’s look at some good examples…

A Small Sampling of Blogs for Professional Growth and Good Ideas

Weblogg-ed – The Read/Write Web

Learning.now

Tim Fredrick’s ELA Teaching Blog

A History Teacher

Element List

Chapter Zero

Change Agency

Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Around the Corner

Global Voices

And Now Some Examples of Classroom Blogs

Excellence and Imagination

Wells Elementary Computer Lab

Interactive Chatting Teddies

The Secret Life of Bees

Miss Ginn’s Inspired Classroom

SAS 7th Grade Science

Pre-Cal 40S

Room 613 Student Blogs

Immigration Experience

Bishop Dunne Room 304

How do I find blogs?

You can locate blogs by using a search tool for blogs like Technorati, Google Blogsearch or IceRocket.

How do I keep up with the blogs I would like to read?

You can keep track of the blogs you like by having them delivered to a central location via an aggregator and the blog’s RSS feed. Some aggregators are Netvibes (the one I use) and Bloglines.

How do I create my own blog?

To create a blog all you need is a blog provider. There are a lot of them out there, so you should first think about what the purpose of your blog will be. Below are some links to some free blog providers.

Think.com

WordPress

Blogger

EPals Schoolblogs

Blogmeister

I am sure I left out tons of good ideas and educational blogs, so please feel free to add your thoughts and expertise to the discussion!

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Explore posts in the same categories: Blog, IISD, Training

10 Comments on “Blogging in Irving ISD”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I started using blogs this year in my Social Studies classes. I had students link to articles on current issues, write their opinion/response to the article and then read other people’s articles and comment on them. They seemed to like it and learned more than just cutting articles out of newspapers or magazines and then only seeing their articles and their own perspective.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I feel like the doors to another world have opened up today…the world of blogs. As I was exploring online, I discovered medical journals and ideas for science curriculum that I forsee being very helpful in the future. I am excited about using blogs to substitute science journaling in which the students can attach tables/graphs and link their lab findings to research on the web.

  3. michael minks Says:

    creating a blog is like crying a single tear lost in a thunderstorm followed by a hurricane…..

  4. Anonymous Says:

    The information I learned about blogs in this session is very interesting. Blogs creates a good learning environment and I am planning using blogs with my students.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    I learn so much today in blogs with Angela S.training session.It was a very good training session in blogs.

  6. Kyle Stevens Says:

    I use blogs in both my English and History courses. My students have told me they enjoy blogging because they can share their answers with other students, not just me. It also allows them to take more time in the response and does not put them on the spot.

    I also feel that it allows the student to see the progress of his or her writing. The student can see the difference in his or her answers throughout the semester. They can see the answers of higher achieving students, which typically sparks competition into writing better reponses.

    It also allows the student to share his or her answers with students throughout the world. My students really enjoyed checking out class blog page and seeing the cluster map that shows the various locations of people viewing our work.

  7. msjc224 Says:

    This is one staff dev that I really enjoyed because it was hands on and I know I will definitley use in the future whether its for school blogging or for personal. I thought Angela S. did a job well done. Thanks for all the blogging tips, features, etc.

    Happy Blogging!

  8. Pam Lawson Says:

    Blogging is totally new to me and I am anxious to learn more before I use it in the classroom. Angela has given a great overview with time for us to experiment. I appreciate that.

  9. stagedallas Says:

    Truthfully, I was not looking forward to this session. I thought it was going to be too basic and theoretical. I was pleasantly surprised or receive practical hands-on instruction. I have looked at Blogs as nothing more than simple online journaling; you have shown me it is much more. I am a high school theater arts teacher; I’m looking forward to using this tool to get my kids to discuss what’s happening in the Dallas theater community. I think this will be a great addition to my department website I built this summer. http://www.irvingisd.net/ihsdrama/ I also really appreciate the information about creating and using an aggregator. Thanks for a great session. – Mark Hawkins, Theater Arts Teacher, Irving High School

  10. firewall Says:

    Luogo interessante, buon disegno, lo gradisco, signore! =)


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