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1. Tutorial and Overviewexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTm1K8JlKKuZ9x7sTiehriR9peHHu-WACAadr7khL1z-7o2yDxW

You can go here if youtube is blocked: BLOGS IN PLAIN ENGLISH.

Weblogs, or blogs to most of us, are already being used by our students. We may not get them to put pen to paper, but they're writing throughout the day, updating their blogs, updating their Facebook status, Tweeting on Twitter, and so on. Collaborative or community blogs are easy to incorporate into any classroom. There's something powerful about posting your work or your opinion and having someone respond to it. "Writing to the Web is easy. And there is an audience" for students' ideas which is why blogs have such huge potential in our classrooms (Richardson, 17). If you can send an emai, you can blog; it's that easy. Teachers can incorporate blogs in countless ways from simply posting homework assignments to linking news and videos. New blogs are being created every second (19), and with the click of the mouse,students have the power to be read and heard all over the world.

Learning specialists have found that blogging can:
  • promote critical and analytical thinking
  • be a powerful promoter of creative, intuitive, and associational thinking
  • promote analogical thinking
  • be a powerful medium for increasing access and exposure to quality information
  • combine the best of solitary reflection and social interaction (Eide Neurolearning Blog, 2005)

Most of us are required to update our blogs daily, and whether we use our class blogs to upload assignments, publish student work, engage students collaboratively, share e-portfolios, or deliver the curriculum digitally, the potential possibilities make a blog a powerful management tool. We can communicate easily with both students and parents. Parents appreciate the ease with which they can access class materials, search through the archives, receive daily notifications, and so on. Teacher blogs are usually linked to the school website which also provides links to other sites with relevant information.

Teachers can create blogs that cover simple lessons to whole units. The blog can even serve as a student product. Some of our exemplars are below:

2. Suggestions for Teaching

Teachers can create blogs that cover simple lessons to whole units. The blog can even serve as a student product. Some of our exemplars are below:



Students can create blogs as well. A few years ago Maya's students created reader response blogs. Here is an example:
Two years later, Katie still updates her blog occasionally. Two years ago in my class, each student blogged twice a week: once about a book and another time about another insight about life or learning. One problem for me was that I could not keep up with all the blog spots. Another problem was that each student had his/her own blog, and they did not have an authentic audience unless they invited friends to join. I think blog groups might be a neat way to use reader response blogs. Marsha created a class bog (for each individual class period) on Good Reads in which students interacted with others. I created weekly prompts to which students would respond, and then they would have to "converse" with other students, as well.
Good Reads

3. Sample Projects with Rubrics

Marsha's MAT Project blog:
A reader response blog from one of Maya's former students:
Reader Response Blog from a Former Student

4. Links and Resources





Personal blog with examples of various digital media:

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