Back a couple of months ago I posted up a thread about needed some help with some research that I am currently doing. When I posted it though, I made a few mistakes and came off saying that it was just for this graduate class that I'm currently working on, and re reading it, yeah wow, it was terrible.

The research I am currently working on is for the school district I work in. Currently there is a policy in place that bans the use of using any web 2.0 application within the classroom. They allow us to use power points, and smart boards and things like that, but when it comes to blogs, wikis and even podcasts, it's all taboo.

Last year, the school district sent us to a conference in which Will Richardson was the keynote speaker. Will Richardson is an advocate for using web 2.0 in the classroom, and to be honest I was excited when I left that conference because I wanted to use everything he spoke about in my classroom. When this current school year started, I started asking around to see if it was okay if I could start a blog for my class. I was told no. A social studies teacher and a math teacher were also refused use of a blog for their classrooms as well.

It was in October that I decided that I needed to look further into the uses of blogs and wikis within the classroom setting. My research goal is to see the advantages and disadvantages of using blogs or wikis within the classroom. I'm trying to look at all aspects of using these tools within the classroom from cooperative learning environments online, to security, to dealing with students that don't have internet access at home.

When I complete the research, I am going to be presenting it to the districts technology committee. I'm hoping to complete my research between April and May, so that I can present it, and maybe get something changed by next school year.

What I need is help with my research. I'm looking for middle school teachers that use blogs in their classroom. I am hoping to be able to look through the blogs/wikis to see student work, as well as to interview them, via e-mail about their thoughts of using the blog/wiki. I am also looking to interview some teachers about their uses of blogs/wikis in their classroom. I would love to have teachers from all different points of using a blog as well. I would love to see what teachers that are just starting to use the blog have to say, as well as those teachers that have been using it for a couple of years now.

I would really like to get the policy in my school district changed because I feel that they are limiting us on the use of technology. They push for us to use more and more technology in the classroom, but they deny us the use of web 2.0.

If you are interested in being a part of this, PLEASE get a hold of me as soon as possible. Drop me a message here or e-mail me. (mrfox1980[at]hotmail[dot]com) Also, if you would like to see a copy of the research proposal, let me know! I have no problems sharing that!

Thank you all very much for the support, and any feedback you all give me.

Tags: blogging

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I teach gifted kids (K-6) and we do a lot of projects using all kinds of technologies. In the last year we have maintained a student blog and done 5 wikis (for different purposes). You can see all the stuff we've done here. Let me know if I can be of help to you. N
Howdy! :)

I'd for sure click on the link to blogging on the right side of the screen, to see what forum discussions on blogging have taken place--it will likely lead you to some good folks. Jeff Felix just posted a link to his study on blogging--you'll see the forum thread there. You might also go to www.supportblogging.com and look at the list of blogs to see if anything catches your eye.

David Warlick has a self-published book on blogging in the classroom that is probably worth looking at (www.lulu.com/content/976694) and Will's book as well (http://www.amazon.com/Blogs-Wikis-Podcasts-Powerful-Classrooms/dp/1...).

Good luck!
Steve's Support Blogging wiki is great. You might see a couple of other blogs at: http://movingforward.wikispaces.com/ including mine. They also have a list of wikis there too. You are welcome to look at any of my current blogs:

http://oakridgefourthgrade.edublogs.org/
http://oakridgefifthgrade.edublogs.org/
http://oakridgesixthgrade.edublogs.org/
http://mercereld.edublogs.org/
Check me out at www.mrsolson.edublogs.org - I use blogs with 4th and 6th graders and am working on a collaborative 4th grade blog (in progress).
Oh, here is some research that Jeff Felix recently finished. My class blog from last year was one of the "subjects":

http://www.suptfelix.blogspot.com/
Thank you all for opening up your blogs to me to look at. This saturday I will try to contact you all with short little questionaire just getting some basic information so I know exactly what I'm looking at with everyone. Also thank you for the links to different research places to look. It's all a big help.

The last week has been a bit crazy for me, because one of the teacher i look up to, who also is big into technology, might be leaving our district for a better job, so I've been in this whirlwind of other things. If he ends up leaving, I end up being to technology go to guy, and it's a bit scary.

Thank you again! Hopefuly if a few more of your are interested there is ALWAYS more room!

Cheers!
Lucas,
I really feel for you. Back a year or two ago when blogging was mentioned to our Assistant Superintendent she responded with a "Is it safe", "What exactly is it?", and "I'm not sure this is a good thing". She now proudly boasts about how our students are improving writing skills and self esteem though blogging and podcasting.
I'm in a position in the middle between Curriculum and IT as an Ed Tech specialist. It was my job to bring the curriculum into technology and that alone has been the biggest positive in moving us ahead. If you approach your district from the perspective of how will this improve student achievement, they may look at the Web 2.0 skills differently. It's made all the difference for us.
Some of us are just starting with Wikis, but one teacher who uses it as a class website and communication tool for parents has been very successful.
While we are an elementary school district, we are still trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology. Oh, and by the way, before any student posts a blog or podcast, they and their parents sign an agreement about online behavior in our Student Community. Our IT Department has been very supportive with trying to make the community as secure as possible for students. While this might be a little constricting, it hasn't caused any problems and we feel keeps the students safe.
I've put a link to our Student Community below. I hope this is helpful.
Arlene

https://webapps.saugus.k12.ca.us/community4students/
One of the reasons I'm doing this research is to try to show the School Board where I am that it can be safe, and it's relatively easy to keep safe. Also, doing it to show the pros and cons of blogging.
I would have gotten the surveys out yesterday, but i'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to private message people here. So i guess, i'll just post the message up in the forum. And you can get it back to me until i figure out how to private message people here.

Here is the message.

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you for taking interest in my research on the classroom 2.0 forums. I can’t begin to tell you how much work this has been for me, and I’m getting more and more nervous about not having enough people to interview and talk to. I really want to be able to use blogging and wikis within my classroom, to better help with science education, but as of right now the school board is against using blogs within the classroom. As of right now, I think it is because of all the negative stigma that surrounds blogging in the news; mysapce, facebook, you know that whole lot.
I’m trying to show that there is a lot more to blogging out there, other than what we see in the press, and I know I need to show how blogging is working in other teacher’s classrooms. This first little questionnaire is more or less designed for me to get a better idea of the blogs I’m going to be looking at. I’m a science teacher at the middle school level, so obviously I want to look at one or two science blogs. All blogs are welcome though because I’m not just doing this for me, I’m doing it for all the teachers in my school. Also, I want to get an idea of who I can interview more in depth as well as see if it would be possible to interview some of your students, all via e-mail obviously.
Thanks again for the interest. I’m hoping this finally sways my board to change their policies.
1. What subject do you teach?
2. What do you use more in your class, a blog or a wiki?
3. How long have you been using blogs in you classroom?
4. Do you see yourself continuing to use a blog beyond this year?
5. How does your school/district feel about using blogs?
6. Would you be willing to be a part of a research paper on blogging in the classroom and have a much deeper interview on blogging in the classroom?
7. Would I be able to interview a few of your students on their thoughts about using blogs

Sincerely,
Lucas Fox
7 – 8 grade science
J. W. Bailey Middle School
I'd be glad to answer your questions, do you want us to email the responses? Post them here? You probably already know this but there are lots of free survey makers--my kids are working on a survey using wufoo.com. Could you use one of those to gather your data??

I'm going to add our wufoo.com efforts to my blog so you can see what it looks like. I'll add the link in a minute---OK, that was fast. Here's what the survey itself looks like. The data can be manipulated in different ways.

BTW, I've got several kids you can interview--let me know how we can help.
Free survey makers???? Okay, Here I thought i knew a lot about technology.. and then *slap* something new gets tossed my way and i smiled even bigger. I know nothing about that, I have to go check that out. I do don't see why I couldn't use something like that to get my data. Let me ask a few collegues first.

As for the getting the above questions back to me. My e-mail is okay. just make sure in the subject that it's from here. I'm working on getting a new e-mail address for my person stuff and making my hotmail one my professional stuff. My e-mail is mrfox1980@hotmail.com

Thanks a bunch for the really fast reply. And thanks a bunch for all the help!!!!!

Cheers,

Luke
Do you want us to wait to see if you decided to do a survey incorporating these questions?

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