This is ironic because I’m posting to my blog right now and the content area technology I will be talking about today is a blogging tool! I love blogs particularly because it allows for open expression of all those who participate. In my content area—which involves any kind of language arts or English, having a class blog would positively affect the learning environment in a variety of ways. It keeps everybody’s posts and shares in one condensed place so that students may interact with their classmates and take in different perspectives. This is also an alternative to traditional homework and can include an accepted lower level of formality without risk of not being able to decipher what my students have learned. It opens up the allowed space to exemplify their learning in ways that they see fit as well as through the guides I provide for them.
I discovered this particular tool by looking up on google “classroom technology” and finding this recommended blog site: Edublogs. I have not used this tool previously and so getting acquainted with the technology will definitely take time, but it will be worth it to use as a classroom tool. There are a variety of ways that the blog can be incorporated into a lesson: There are so many times when a class discussion has to abruptly end because of class ending and so a blog could act as a tool to continue discussion. I’m also thinking about the beginnings of new units and how during my experience in High School, the introductions to new knowledge always made me think of something; make some sort of connection. The class blog would be a great place to get feedback from students after the first day of a new unit to see how they connected to this new chunk of information and, or, how they fit it into their individual schemas of understanding. This helps me get better acquainted with my students as people, as well as learners and gives classmates a chance to do the same. It also gives classmates other methods of connecting with the new information in which they had not originally thought of. Probably one of the most effective aspects of class blogging is the exposure for students to their classmates’ differing perspectives. If I make sure to create a space that is open and accepting and semi-informal, students should prefer to reflect and extend upon their learning through this source.
This source, particularly, allows you to have separate classes–and this is what the toolbar looks like on the left of the screen. The dashboard is where you go to edit the blog in any way: adding new pages, adding new posts, inserting media, links, etc. Dashboard is key.
A lot of the customized looks for the blog are only accessible to “Upgraded Blogs,” which costs $3.33 per month; however, it’s possible to work with what they have and individualize your class-blog. For my faux class blog, I imagined that I would ask my class what they wanted to call themselves (in this case, The Wizards) and then help me to individualize it. This is an example of what one might look like.
In order to add my students, I simply refer to the Users tab on the left side of the Dashboard and unfolds a menu which includes “Invite Users.” In order to do so, I create an invitation code so that when students log into the blog, they can insert my code and then be free to post!
The more I maneuver the site, the more I feel capable of using it in my future classroom and will definitely plan on saving my login information so that someday I can utilize this particular blogging tool!