The following is a presentation on blogging in education and its usefulness as a tool of digital literacy, digital citizenship, and student engagement. Updated to October 2009, this presentation covers many of the aspects of implementing blogging into your elementary or secondary curriculum, the rationale for why you want to include blogging in your instruction, and some practical uses for the tool.
When I first started to include blogging in my teaching instruction, I was faced with a number of challenges: how would I use this tool in collaboration with my curriculum? Could I use it with some of my pre-existing lessons or would I have to create new ones? How would I have students set up accounts? Which service would I use? How would I use the tool for both assessment and evaluation? What would my rubrics look like? How would I support the students?
Through multiple implementations and revisions, I have come up with a set of practical and easy to use rubrics for both assessment and evaluation. You are welcome to use them and revise them to suit your teaching style and assignment requirements. I would also love it if you would help me improve as well. If you come up with something neat and effective, I would love it if you would share with me. Just click the “Contact” link above and I would be happy to receive your resources for implementation into my teaching practice.
I have also included some sample webpages for how you can support your students and their usage / setup of their blogs.
In his book, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, Will Richardson mentions the issues surrounding the privacy of students and their personal information. “From a student standpoint, teachers have to be ready to discuss what should and should not be published online. Your expectations may vary by grade level and age, but I always tell my students that they are only to use their first names on the blog and they are not to post any personal information such as addresses or phone numbers. To help with the establishment of criteria for the use of blogs for both students and parents, Richardson suggests a communication home that informs the parents of the online nature of the blog assignment, how it will be used in class, along with the terms and conditions of use. Ultimately, the blog is a virtual extension of the classroom. The same expectations you have in class for behaviour and respect should pertain as well.