Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What About Blogs - June 2006

We thought the participants in our June course, What About Blogs? might be interested in looking at a few of the blogs we find particularly relevant to education and technology integration. There are thousands and thousands of blogs out there. You will find blogs on any topic from pet grooming to dissertation research. People of all ages are drawn to blogging as a form of social networking.

As a collaboration and communication tool, blogs are finding their place in education. Many teachers use them on a professional level. Two that I read on a regular basis are, first, Will Richardson’s blog
Webblogg-ed . We like Will’s blog so much, and the book he just released, that we have invited him to do a workshop on blogs, wikis, and other cool tools for the Eighth Floor this coming October. You really won’t want to miss this. The second blog I read often is Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer. Good news! Wesley Fryer just took a position in OKC, and since he will be "local," we hope to invite him to the Eighth Floor as well - stay tuned. There are many, many others. Although it is impossible to read them all, you will probably find a few you go to over and over.

Several teachers are using blogs in the classroom as a tool for collaboration and communication. They find that blogging results in much more authentic learning for students. A couple of classroom blogs might want to look at are
Mrs. Watts Second Grade Computer Classroom . You have to check out the journals on the Oregon Trail. Also, take a look at SAS China . This is a website at an overseas American school that is run by two instructors in different disciplines, and their blog is part of their website. The work the students do in both classes is quite impressive and sometimes pretty funny.

There has been much discussion lately regarding the safety of student blogs. Internet safety is an important issue that we should all be helping our students understand and deal with. A couple of blog posts you will find interesting on this topic are
MySpace Education, on Wesley Fryer’s blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity and Stephanie Sandifer’s blog Change Agency .

Being as this is a class about blogging, we think you ought to do a little, well, blogging. (Those of you reading this who are not enrolled in the class, please jump in!) We’d like you to share some of your thoughts or concerns about setting up and using blogs either professionally or in the classroom.

Here are some questions to get you started thinking:
- What do you want to know about blogs?
- What do you already know about blogs?
- How do you think you can use blogs?
- How do you see others using blogs?
- What are you concerned about when it comes to blogs?
- What experiences (good or bad) have you already had with blogs?
- How important is digital literacy for our students?
- OR anything else you would like to blog about.

Post comments by clicking on the “comments” hyperlink at the bottom of this posting. You can contribute as “other.” Be sure to include your name. Read others’ comments and feel free to comment on their comments.

Lee Anne

If you are interested, check out the February 17th posting on the 8th Floor Blog called “
What About Blogs?” and read some of the comments made by the last class.