Friday, September 28, 2012

How This Blog Integrates Technology Into Our Classroom

Blogs are a place where individuals can express themselves and ideas, providing a place for others to visit, read, and comment.  Blogs are being used as tools by teachers and professors, for example Dr. Leogrande, in classrooms and courses to be an effective resource during the education process.  An individual can never blog too much, and similar to a journal, one can constantly post entries regarding whatever is on their mind.  Blogs give bloggers the opportunities to write, as well as post artwork and link videos of content to keep readers interested and engaged within the material.  Comments make this a powerful tool because it then gives readers a way to communicate back to the author of the blog.
Organization is a skill often not well developed in children and in college students, but blogs manage and   organize themselves.  Although they are completely customizable, entries new and old are kept in archives chronologically ordered on the side of the blog.  Students these days are more tech savvy than ever before, the fact that they are user friendly helps is beneficial to students and teachers alike.  Smart phones are carried by most people, making accessibility to blogs endless.

Students may be shy in class, but the use of blogs encourages students to be more motivated and participate regularly within their blogging community.  Between posting and reading entries and comments, blogs create an environment for students to develop skills related to reading and writing.  In addition to commenting, blogs provide students with effective forms of collaboration and discussions between one another.

There are four basic components to using a blog within a classroom.

1)      Classroom Management- educators can post notices, include folders of handouts, list homework assignments, contain a message board for questions, and inform student of class requirements.
2)      Collaboration- students and educators can work together to better benefit from their educational experience.  Peer review and instructional advice from teachers helps to build writing skills, develop confidence, and improved cooperative learners.
3)      Discussions- students can each share their own thoughts and opinions, interacting with one another by writing persuasive, descriptive, comparing and contrasting, evaluative or narrative postings.
4)      Student Portfolios- all of a student’s work and effort is well presented and clear organized on a blog through archives and customizable templates and layouts.  Work is dated in chronological order and can easily be searched.  If the student has been working with peers and educators through mentoring, there will be progression within the writing from the first entry to the last.

Similarly, with giving students freedom in their writing, there are behaviors students need to follow in order to have a healthy and educational experience within the blogging community.  Students should be taught appropriate actions for online activity and be aware that school policies exist on the web as well.