Tuesday, October 1, 2013 our EC&I 831 class participated in a session called An Introduction to Blogging with edublogger, Sue Waters . Ms. Waters shared why people blog, the benefits of blogging, and taught us about blogging etiquette. I ended the evening’s class feeling rejuvanated and excited about blogging, as well as, ready to share my new knowledge. But with who?
Low and behold the “who” arrived in my inbox the very next morning! One our middle year’s teachers contacted me as she was interested in exploring new ways to motivate her students to write. In addition, she felt she needed to branch out “getting more with the times”, moving away from traditonal paper pencil work. Her ultimate goals were: get students excited about writing, engage in the writing of others, and integrate technology. My mind was screaming “Hello blogging!!!”
During our session Tuesday night, Ms. Waters shared with us the Audience Effect quote by Clive Thompson: when students write for a real audience, other than their teacher, they put more thought into it. My teacher’s willingness to expand her comfort level with technology meant that we could meet her goals by: teaching her students how to blog and how to respond courteously to the blogs of others, all the while teaching them the etiquette of blogging and netiquette.
The teacher and I conversed back and forth this week on how she would like to utilize technology more as a tool to reach the outcome and indicators of our Curricula. As a result, the teacher and I have decided that the first blogging assignment, once we have taught them how to set up a blog, will be for her students to blog about the readings they have been doing in class or on their free time, (she has very avid readers in her class). Though we could have decided to use a Wikispace or Voicethread, we wanted something that would serve multipurposes and continue to evolve.
After reading Reader Response Meets New Literacies: Empowering Readers in Online Learning Communities Larson 2011 The Reading Teacher Wiley Online Library, we are curious to know whether the mechanics of the students’ writing will improve (spelling, punctuation, organiziation)? Will they write more frequently? Will they contribute or comment on the writing of others? Will their writing increase in length and in depth? Will they enjoy writing online through blog posts or will they want to return to using their paper and pencils?
However, before we begin on this blogging journey, I have a few questions.
My questions are:
- What blog site is appropriate for middle years students, in regards to ease and security?
- Can a teacher have full control of what is being posted? To clarify, can the blog posts first go to the teacher and then he/she gives approval prior to them being posted?
Any thoughts or advice will be greatly appreciated!
Mmmm….maybe this could be my final project for EC&I 831….