Okay, so i have been researching blogs in the classroom for a while now. I took a bit of a break over Christmas and January, I won't lie. I've been getting back into the thick of things, and I've been reading blogs and looking at student blogs that i have been invited to look at from many of the wonderful people here.

I'm running into a problem in my data collection phase. My essential point is that I'm trying to find the pros and cons of using blogs in a classroom setting... and data wise, I was trying to look at some examples of student work to really make some of the pros shine, and i've been also looking through posts here to make the cons come out as well. I'm trying to be as unbiased as possible, but this is to get the policy in my school district to change to allow us to use blogs, so yeah.

What I'm running into is... how do I collect data to show some of these things? And what data do i grab? One of the things I was going to do was to set up a nice "interview" that could be done through e-mail, since i know many of you don't live anywhere near me. And if i needed to ask a few more questions, i could always e-mail back. I wanted to grab some student work from some of the blogs, and well.. that is where the major roadblock is. Ethical considerations and all.... which also leads into one of the major cons of using blogs... who has access to the student work, and how can they use it..... As well as, if a grab some student samples from teh blogs i have been invited to look at.. how do i get consent and things like that... and even the bigger question..... what the heck should i GRAB!!!!!

Any and all help would be awesome! Because being stuck here really isn't good. I know in my research paper, i could quote many different books about the pros and con's of blogging, but it's not the same as seeing the student work and showing how it has evolved. I'm almost thinking about grabbing some of my blog posts from when i first started, and some of them now to show how i evolved just using a blog.

Cheers,

Lucas Fox.

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I'd be glad to give my consistent bloggers a few questions from you and you can access the responses.
Likewise you should be able to use our work and ask the students questions but they have yet to start blogging.
Martin
Thank you very much the both of you... i'm still stuck on what to grab though.. :( *Sighs* GAH! That's all I have to say.. :).

Still Thanks very Much!
Hey, Lucas,
So, what is your basic hypothesis?
Well... to go through ti quickly here.. so people are a bit refreshed.

My school district doesn't allow the use of blogging in the classroom, but they sent us to a professional developement conference that was about blogging and using wikis.

I'm researching right now, the pros and cons of using a classroom blogging. I personally feel that blogging will make the students better learners and also help them make the learnign their own... but i have to show and prove to soem degree that it works, and well how to over come the negatives out there about blogging. Getting rid of the "myspace" stigma around blogging.

So the lit review goes into the postive aspects from different articles that i have read as well as some of the negatives aspects of blogging. One of things I am going to be doing is sending out some questionaires with basics questions about their blogging, setting up the blog, great things that happened in it, soem of the problems that became visible, etc.

What my problem is... student examples. What do i collect.. and how do i show what they are doing from what i collect. I have been invited to many different blogs, but i'm running into what to grab as data.. and the ethical considerations.

Thanks for any help Ed and others that have read this.
"but i'm running into what to grab as data.."
Presumably you'll want to grab whatever supports your basic theory or hypothesis. Right now you have
"I personally feel that blogging will make the students better learners and also help them make the learnign their own."
. Can we refine that some? In what way will it make them better learners? What other specific questions about that can you come up with?
Also, how will it help them make learning their own? Can you find blogging excerpts that support that?
The point is to have a starting point.
Lucas,
I'd like to refer you to the latest issue of the Leading and Learning magazine by ISTE. The lead feature article is about Social Networking for the K-12 Set. It was written by Jim Klein, the IT Director for Saugus Union School District. Maybe this can help with your research.
Here's the link:
http://www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Publications/LL/LLIssues...

Arlene
Hi Lucas,

My school district has a blog site through Word Press http://resources.sheboygan.k12.wi.us/blogs/. Currently my school is using it to interact with a school in France. In addition our Arts Infused High School also uses it for various purposes. I think the former example is a great idea to advocate for the use of blogs in your district.

Nathan
Hi Lucas,
Wonderful question! It's great you have the opportunity to drive some conversation in your district.

I agree with Ed. What is your main focus? What is your primary research question? I will assume you are doing this research un-affiltated with a university and human subjects review, correct? Ethical implications and consent is a huge issue regardless and you are wise to think about that before hand. You may need signed consent letters (from parents or teachers) on file prior to collecting data. THis may be something you talk over with your district or principal or whomever for assurance and support.

You asked about data collection. The data you collect is driven by the question you ask. Then you will determine how to analyze the data, hopefully in several ways, to promote triangulation or approximation at a truth space.

If you were to essentially ask: what are teacher perceptions of student created blogs, it might be less complicated to have a short answer/ survey /questionaire for teachers to fill out. Then you can post a bunch of blogs and let the district people come to their own conclusions about pros and cons. As researcher ,one of your duties is to allow - enable them to make informed decisions.

You are bring up really important points however & I encourage you to keep moving forward. Keep us posted as you work the gnarly details! It is so interesting and important.
I'm very thankful that you all added something to this. Yesterday i was working on my revisions to the lit review that i had done for a while now.. i thought, with some of the things that you all asked to clarify that it would be a good idea to go back to my lit review.

I am really thankful for the support. when i get the lit review finished i will gladly let any of you read it to get a better idea of what i am doing. Also, i do have a questionnaire that i am going to send out this weekend.. and get some of the responses together.

to address indigo really fast... I'm trying hard to actually be a bit on teh neutral side of this only because if i don't see blogs working, i don't want to use them in the classroom. I want what is best for my students. Do i think that blogs are the one end all be all thing? Nope... not at all. I know there are a vast amount of web 2.0 applications out there.

In fact, I chose blogs because i thought it would be a starting point. There are two other teachers in the school that wanted to use blogs with their classes, but got denied. So thats why i started here.

Let me work on getting things refined down a bit more.. and then i'll pass it by everyone! :)

thanks again! :)
I just sent out my tech surveys so i can start collecting data. Man am i behind on this.... further behind than i want to be. I have my lit review tightened up as well if you all want to see it. I still have a little bit more to add into it, but it would give you the basic idea of what i am looking for.

Also if you want in on my survey.. Please pass me a message here and i will ship it out to you. If you want to read the lit review.. (please know it's a work in progress) let me know as well. I will be more than willing to show it to you!

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