So the whole purpose of this blog was to document my work for this Creativity Contract assignment for my maymaster course while also exploring the possibilities of a blog for my future students/class. I have to say that I have found it really gratifying to be able to put into words what I’m learning from each tool. I think having an online diary of what you’re learning is helpful for reflective purposes but also so you can make sure you know what you’re actually learning.
What I love about blogs is that you can put anything in them: your thoughts, pictures, links, videos, etc. You have an entire “website” devoted to nothing but you and your thoughts that can be easily shared with others. I like this because I could have my students blog about different class projects (in most agriculture classes, you do a lot of class projects, not all individual projects). It would give me a chance to hear their feelings toward different assignments while also helping me to see if they actually learned anything. (Also, the ag teacher and competitor in me would like to be able to submit some quotes about events from the students to the newspaper for when we win competitions.) And I love that the student’s parents would be able to track their work in my class too through a blog as long as they knew their child’s web address.
I could also see the benefits in a teacher using a blog to post assignments and helpful resources for the students. The teacher could give further explanations to assignments, preview upcoming material, and write about upcoming events. I have been inspired by how Gretchen, my teacher for this course, uses a class blog to post everything our class is working on. I use the blog as a reminder for homework, and a reference for when I’m confused about an assignment. Even if my student’s don’t understand the purpose of a blog, if parents knew that explanations to their children’s homework would always be on this particular website, they would be able to use it as a tool as well!
No one remembers everything that is said in class, and not all students are note-takers (and even if they are, everyone has bad days where they’re not as particularly attentive). Having a blog would make it easier for students to stay informed about whats going on in class.
It’s not surprise that their are tons of articles/blogs about teachers having a class blog. This one explains what to do with individual student blogs depending on if they want to keep their blog, you have no choice but to delete it, or if the student is moving away. I didn’t go through this one super thoroughly but I think it would be a good reference for end of the year tidying up. The instructions are really clean and easy to follow.
This article gives reasons why social media should be included in the classroom. The author talks about the dangers of social media while offering safe options (websites) that minimize the risk of bullying and creepers online. I like that the author has first-hand experience with social media tools such as blogs in her classroom and has seen success in it.
Waters, S. (2011, June 1). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://theedublogger.com/2011/05/25/our-tips-for-getting-blogs-ready-for-the-end-of-the-school-year/?
Kessler, S. (2010, September 29). The case for social media in schools [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/09/29/social-media-in-school/