Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to use a blog in the classroom

Being a member of the Twitter community, and having participated in the reform symposium, I got a better picture of where I stand as a technology teacher....somewhere in between everybody! I have heard many teachers ask how they could use the blog in the classroom. I managed to introduce blogging to my 9 years olds and the resullt, I consider, was quite successful. Here's how one goes about it .
1. Sign up to Kidblogs  . Here's the link

2. Write down the names of each of your students and assigned them a password. The blog will then automatically create a page for each child.

3.Ask the students to go home and play around with it. My idea was to see whether it works at all! Most came back saying that they could log in. I helped those who couldn't. They had either forgotten their password or typed it incorrectly.

4.Give them a small assignment on the blog.
Most of the students responded positively. I did not push anyone to blog but gently reminded them that we would love to hear what they had to say.
I had started this project in the second term. By the end of the third term, i had many eager students asking me whether they could continue blogging when they go to year 5. I have left the blog site open for them.

Take a look at our classroom blog. You will find moments of great learning here. There is evidence of students reading each others' work. They were writing comments on each others' blogs, arguing, praising . I call them the gobsmacking moments :). There is also evidence of them being plain silly. However, no one ever abused the privileges they were given. Some of the parents approached me, asking whether they could join too. I think it's a great idea if parents become directly involved in our virtual classroom.

This term, I will be moving on to greater things.

5. I will be connecting with the world and ensuring my students realize how small the world can become with the help of technology. We are taking part in a Read Aloud project with another school in the USA. We plan to read The Little Prince. I am aware of time constraints and that is why the blog will be so useful. Students will write their comments after reading a section of the story; they will be aware that other students across the ocean will be reading their work. Let's see how it goes. This takes a lot of pre-planning of course. You have to be on the look out for great links, wikis etc where people are attempting to reach out. Here are some of my favourite ones:

Let's start connecting...

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