I've been asked to conduct an inservice training on using blogging in the classroom. I was asked not because I am any sort of expert on the subject but rather because I am the only teacher in my district who is even attempting to blog. The technology department in our district is somewhat behind the times and I think I will be limited in the types of blogging platforms I can introduce participants to. We just adopted a new district webpage and finally have the ability to create staff webpages and through this (I think it is called school world) there is a very elementary blog feature. My curriculum director has instructed me that I will be presenting blogging as a means of differentiating in a classroom and that I should introduce what a blog is, provide examples and then let the participants play around with the feature on our crummy web page. Does anybody have any ideas or examples of how to go about introducing blogging to these teachers? I am especially interested in seeing examples (would be great to get both good and bad examples) of blog usage at all levels. I'm also open to any other suggestions or ideas you might have. Thanks!

Tags: blog, collaboration, training

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Here is a link to one of my 5th grade teacher's blogs. She uses this blog (and here pbwiki page) as her main means of teaching. She began this blog over the Christmas holiday and it has truly transformed her teaching. The children have improved in so many different ways: their behavior, responsibility, motivation, ownership of their learning, and their overall writing ability! I commend this teacher for her transformation!

http://www.trefz.blogspot.com/

Here are 2 other teacher blogs from our school. A 2nd grade teacher http://2bflyingpigs.blogspot.com/ and 3rd grade http://wwwmrshumphreys3d.blogspot.com/.

I would HIGHLY recommend the use of Blogger. Just remove the "next" button. If you need any help let me know! I am on twitter - msmithpds too.
Hi Kendra,

Are you limited to using examples from the blogging tool your school has? If not, I think that Google's Blogger is a good tool. I teach computer literacy courses at a community college and have had my students create their own blogs to encourage writing and critical thinking skills, as well as encouraging them to try out new types of technology. I've also collaborated on several blogs (all done on Blogger) with another instructor. Perhaps they'll provide you with some ideas.

Blogging Across the Curriculum (http://bloggingacrosscurriculum.blogspot.com/) - In addition to promoting writing across the curriculum, this blog also has a number of "how-to" posts to get students and instructors up and running for their own blogs. We haven't added any new posts lately, but I don't think the general instructions for creating a Blogger site have changed that much.

Teaching Technology (http://technologyinstruction.blogspot.com/) - This blog is primarily designed to provide discussion topics for instructors teaching computer literacy courses at the high school and college level. We try to showcase a new idea, tool, website, etc. and often provide critical thinking questions to generate discussions in the classroom.

I've also been using wikis with my classes to help distribute information digitally (syllabus, handouts, etc.) rather than as hard copy (we don't have a course management tool at this particular institution). These courses require the students to work together on a group project, so I also use the wiki to encourage collaboration between team members. I've had mixed success, with some students really getting the hang of it and others not bothering with it too much. But, I haven't made the use of the wiki too much of a requirement, it's more of an additional tool that they are encouraged to use. Here's a link to one of my sites from last semester: http://2008fallcs105a.wikispaces.com/

Hope this helps! Good luck with your presentation.
A list of some of the ways I use blogging in my teaching can be found here: http://mrbarlow.wordpress.com/about/

Good luck with the presentation :)
HI!

i did a session like this recently at our district professional development day. what i did was start of showing the Common Craft "what is a blog" video to the teachers that explains in a few short minutes what blogging is and why you would want to blog. Here is a link to that on teacher tube: http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=367ab9eed5af82966a48

then i went through examples depending on the teacher group i was presenting to. there are some great examples to on this site from Edublogs where they list blogs based on subject area/grade level: http://theedublogger.edublogs.org/check-out-these-class-blogs/

There is also a great article about blogging with students from a teacher Janetta Garden, here is the link to her article and her delicious account where she has a lot of great sites for blogging:
http://www.willard.k12.mo.us/co/tech/Document/BloggingWStudents.pdf

http://delicious.com/jgarton/student.bloggers

Other than that, I recommend covering any security issues that you might want to tell them (how to make the blog private if they wish to, or to always use student's first name but not initial if they are going to comment on your blog, moderating comments if you can, using leading questions to encourage good responses).

hope this helps!
That Willard document is awesome! We use blogger, but I would prefer to have something set up for my students to use. I established a gradelevel pbwiki to act as a blog. I am now going to dive into researching word press for next year! Thanks so much!
Here's our student blog. I post of the frontpage, start with Recent Posts to see who is blogging about what. Our bloggers are students 4-6, some parents and some classroom teachers.
How have you like edublogs? We tried it last year and had server issues. The kids did not like it.
Melissa, If your talking to me, I don't use it. It's slow and the blue underlined ads are offensive. (IMHO)
I guess that I thought you were using edublogs b/c I thought I saw an ad for it on your page. We were so turned off by it and I have seen so many people using it lately. I have been trying to see if others had as much trouble as we did.
Mel, this is our blog. We were nominated for Edubloggers Award, but do not use them. That must have been the reference you saw.
Ahh! That was it! I guess if I wasn't reading the site from my tiny iPod screen I would have seen it better. Sorry for the confusion. And hats off for the nomination!

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