2. Blogging in the Classroom

A great post about using blogging in classrooms.

Techie Teachers' Tricks

ALL I WISH I’D KNOWN WHEN I STARTED BLOGGING WITH MY STUDENTS
(Our class blog had 10,000 visitors in its  first 2 months-its link on the right)

Blog Post Agenda:

BLOGS ON THE WEB
STEPS FOR USING BLOGS IN THE CLASSROOM:

  1.      Blogging release forms
  2.      Blogging platforms
  3.      The role of your blog
  4.      Initial lessons
  5.      Ideas for blog posts
  6.      Assessing blogs

BLOGS ON THE WEB

In an era when collaboration is such a handy option, both teachers and students should find ways to get the most out of it because, just like Vygotsky said, people learn from each other and learning arises from social interactions. I acknowledge the fact that just like I learn from other adults, children can learn from each other. In this era of speed, people don’t have time to reinvent…

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September in BU: Registration is open!

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on The Daily Post:
September is a big month for Blogging U! Get your blog off the ground with Blogging 101: Zero to Hero, help it reach more readers with Blogging 201: Branding and Growth, or cultivate a writing…

3 Weeks on WordPress

wordpress-logoI have just finished the Blogging 101 three-week course offered by the Blogging University with the help of the WordPress.com team. As the title says, it takes you from Zero to Hero walking away with a stronger focus for your blog.

Click here to read my reflection about this course and find a link to register for the coming offering starting on August 3 – 21, 2015.

Happy blogging!
🙂

Hover over Words to Get the Meaning for Blogger and WordPress

blog

Retrieved Dec. 20, 2013

I’m working on a blogging project with my first-year high school students. During this experience, there are a lot of things that I have to learn. As a sharing fan, I decided to write a series of posts to document every skill I acquired and every tool I explored to accomplish the aims of this project and meet my students’ needs. Among many things that my students need is a way to find the meaning of the new words that they encounter in the required tasks. I thought of some ways like linking the class blog to an online dictionary, and embedding a Bing or Google widget to translate the whole site, but they didn’t work well with my students.

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Week 1: A Framework For Using Blogs

Before doing my MA that deals with improving writing by using the task-based learning model, I didn’t like writing. Now I admire it. Do you know … Why? May be because I perceive it well: its definition, purposes, nature, types, approaches of teaching … etc.

Thus, all the time I search for new ways of teaching writing. One of these ways of teaching writing is the use of web 2.0 tools, such as blogs, wiki, … etc. To be frank, I like blogs more. I’ve read many books about “How to use them in EFL classrooms.” One of these books which I admire is: Blogs: Web Journals in Language Education by Camilleri, Ford, Leja & Sollars (2007). For more details, you can download it from the following link:

http://sites.google.com/site/webskillssu2010/shared-photos/Blogs.pdf?attredirects=0

If this link doesn’t work, here is another link: http://www.ecml.at/mtp2/publications/D1_Blogs_E_internet.pdf

Or

You can google the book title, you will find it the second result.

One of the articles that I’ve read in this book is: A feature set for an educational blogging platform by Camilleri. He suggests a wonderful workflow model for using blogs. Actually it is very applicable in the EFL classrooms. You can see it on p. 40. This model involves a drafting cycle. This cycle allows students to create a post and revise it many times before publishing. Also there is a moderation feature that the teachers could use or not as they like.

Any way to be successful, we should find specific frameworks or models that can help in framing our way of teaching.

Resources Used:

Camilleri, M.; Ford, P.; Leja, H.; & Sollars, V. (2007). Blogs: Web Journals in Language Education. Austria: Council of Europe Publishing.

Week 1: Blogging …. with …. Scaffolding

Following Deborah’s guide, the process of creating my blog moves smoothly. My colleagues also help me a great deal through their comments in the discussion board and through visiting their blogs. Actually, this is not the first time to blog. I created one before, but as I created it I stopped blogging. May be because there is no set goals for making use of it in my classrooms. Or because there are no clear instructions to create and use it effectively. This is what I found this time with Deborah. Sometimes, direct instruction is valuable as it builds a solid ground for doing tasks. Her scaffolding makes me on the right track.

The term Scaffolding was developed by Vygotsky. It is one of the social constructivism theory strategies. According to Peregoy & Boyle (1997: 80), scaffolds are “temporary supports, provided by capable people, that permit learners to participate in the complex process before they are able to do so unassisted. Once proficiency is achieved, the scaffold is no longer needed, and may be dropped.”

If we analyze this quotation, we will find that Deborah is our scaffolder. She gives us hand whenever we need it. As soon as we manage to do tasks individually, she leaves us to move alone.

This is related to the use of blogs in our classrooms. Through reading the course additional resources about blogs, I found three types: tutor blog, learner blog and class blog according to Campbell (2003). Available online at: http://iteslj/Techniques/Campbell-Weblogs.html.
I can create a tutor blog for my students. I can put some topics or links. I ask them to read these topics and analyze, evaluate and create their own ideas. I mean I can develop my students’ higher order thinking skills (HOTS). These skills are, according to revised Bloom’s taxonomy, analyzing, evaluating and creating (See Solomon & Schrum, 2007: 36). We focus a lot on LOTS (Lower order thinking skills – Remembering, Understanding and Applying) in our classrooms. Blogs provide students to practice the HOTS effectively.

Another area can be developed by bogs is writing. I can ask my students to work collaboratively and each group or pair creates a blog. They can write about their experiences, feelings, … etc. They can write, edit, and publish. I think it will be a great experience for them because they write for authentic audience, either their peers or other people.

Here is a video that emphasizes the need to more tools than just pencils and paper to teach writing in the 21 st century:

I’m sure that there are many areas in teaching English we can develop by blogs.
I can see that in my coursemates blogs.

Resources Used:

Peregoy, S. & Boyle, F. (1997). Reading, Writing & Learning in ESL: A resource Book for K-12 Teachers. 2nd ed. New York: Longman.

Solomon, G. & Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0 new tools, new schools. Washington, DC: International Society for Technology in Education.