Using blogs, twitter, wikis in the classroom

I am just started to look into this and am trying to get started planning for next year....but I need your help! Does anyone have any ideas about using these in the classroom? I am a secondary math teacher and what to integrate some of them into my classroom. Also, any ideas on how to keep it safe, introduce it to parents to get their support, how not to just use it but use it effectively, etc.

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Tags: blogs, twitter, wikis

Comment by Chris Fritz on July 2, 2009 at 6:42pm
For Twitter...I'm not really sure. I've never used Twitter in a classroom and I don't know anyone else who has. But I have some experience and ideas for blogs and wikis.

1) Blogs can be used for responses to a reading/video you've gone over in class. This is something you would probably want students to do at home (as opposed to in a computer lab), since they probably need time to go through their notes and/or collect their thoughts before writing. This could be a problem in areas where not all students have access to a computer and Internet at home. Perhaps for this reason, I've only seen blogs used in this way at university classes. A benefit of using a blog (or a forum) for this, is that you can add an extra dimension to the assignment, having students respond in the comments to (for example) 3 of their classmates' blog posts. This does require some prior setup and careful student training on your part, but you only need to do that once, the first time you use the blogs.

2) Wikis are something else you have to set up beforehand. And training the students can be tricky. To get some ideas on the kinds of rules that make building content on a wiki work, check out Wikipedia's rules. This can be pretty cool for a project involving the entire class, with different people/groups assigned to contribute different information on a topic. I wouldn't recommend assigning a topic they can just research on another wiki though - like Wikipedia. :-) A better topic wouldn't have so much data available online. I see you teach math, so maybe something like analyzing school statistics would work out? Heh, maybe not, math's not my thing.

Anyway, I hope that helps a little.


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