Hi,

I just thought I would share the fantastic success I have been having with blogging. ‘A Bunch of Interesting stuff’ (http://mrbarlow.wordpress.com/) is my constantly updated blog featuring a series of interesting articles about real, rich and relevant science information.

Interestingly, this site has never formed part of student assessment. Students are informed about the site but they are never ‘forced’ to go to it in the hunt for marks. ‘A Bunch of Interesting Stuff’ is an attempt to intrinsically motivate students to learn about science.

I have found that students:
Increased engagement in their learning.
Became intrinsically motivated to learn.
Increased their use of ICT.
Extended their learning and thinking beyond the base curriculum.
Shared their learning journey with others.
and enjoy their learning more.

as a result of the blog. Probably old news to most of the ICT savvy members here, but I just thought some people might find some motivation from or like to direct their students to:

http://mrbarlow.wordpress.com/

Tags: Blogging, Science

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Hi Tim,
I liked your blog. I have a similar agenda on my blog in that I don't give kids any points for reading. I had more kids who replied last year, none yet this year. I think of it as dinner conversation about class or things that come up in class. www.claguna.edublogs.org
Good luck,
Catherine
I've been thrilled with our three year old blog, A Really Different Place. A parent set up the blog using Drupal and serves it at no charge---and his son left my program 2 years ago. Whata guy! He emailed me last week and reported the we had 35,000 visits with 29,000 from unique computers. Students have written thousands of entries and comments. That's heck of a lot of authentic writing by a bunch of 10-12 year old kids!! Keep up the good work, Tim and Catherine.
I just looked at your blog and feel like I'm way behind in all of this. After going to a workshop I started a ning and have a class wiki but other than that, I'm pretty clueless. Any suggestions on how to start "blogging for beginners" would be greatly appreciated. Is it something you learned by doing or should I take a class?

Thanks! Your blog was inspirational!!

Lisa
I think it is just something you have to spend time on Lisa. Play, tinker, have fun, start a personal blog to share with your family or friends. That is how you learn to use technology, in my opinion.
Good luck,
Tim
Lisa, go to http://blogger.com and just start a blog--either for school related stuff, parent info, family and friends. Once you get the flow you'll begin to see how this can work for kids. One easy thing to do at the beginning for student involvement is post discussion questions for the kids and have them reply. Getting individual blogs for kids is more of a challenge, you have to worry about safety and being able to keep an eye on everybody. Do a search here at CR 2.0 and you'll find tons of info on student blogs.

Be sure before you blog with students get an Acceptable Use Policy in place to be signed by parents. I can send you mine if you want to see it. Make sure your admin knows what you are doing but most importantly decide WHY you are doing it. If the blog does not have a purpose it's just more work for you. Here are the terms and conditions of our blog, here is our 'mission' statement. Let me know if you need anything else. You can see the rest of the stuff we've done here.
Thanks for posting the terms and conditions and mission statement. I was looking for something similar.

Eve
Lisa,
I too am new to blogging. I went to blog spot and just started playing around with it. It is pretty easy to use. Here is my first post! http://draftingineducation.blogspot.com/
Good Luck!
Dawn
I realize that I'm responding to a year-old post, but I suppose it's always better late than never! I really like your idea, Tim, of having a blog on interesting science articles. It's something I've been wanting to do for my classroom, since I was a pre-service teacher. I'm curious to find out the following:

What news sources are you using?
Are you reading and writing up these blog posts on your own, or are you forwarding news articles from online kid-appropriate news sites?
How are you using this in your classroom, if assessment is not an expected part of it?
If you don't hear from Tim, leave a message as a comment on his website.
Hi Cheska,

Sources = I visit Nature, National Geographic, New Scientist, Science, Wired Science and Digg Science twice a day as well as a bunch of other sites, some RSS feeds and sometimes people I follow on Twitter provide a source.

I do all the posts myself, more often than not I copy a paragraph out of the article(s) I visit and then link to the article in the hope that kids will follow the link (always student appropriate) to learn more.

I sometimes set kids homework to go and visit the site. From that point on, some of the more 'sciencey' kids just keep going back.

I also do it for my own benefit. I find it interesting, and it keeps my knowledge base updated, something I find useful as a Science teacher.

I hoping to start a brand new subject at my school next year which has no set curriculum but is directed by current interesting real science research going on around the world.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Tim
Yes, it does help! Thanks for getting back to me and giving more information. Good luck on that new subject! It sounds very exciting and I'm sure it will launch off really well :) Thanks also, Nancy, for the helpful tip. Thank goodness he replied, eh? :)
I was afraid you might have to track him down since it was an older post. Tim, your new course sounds like a science teachers dream.

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