Monday, June 15, 2015

Blasting into Week 2

There are so many variations and purposes for blogging in education. A classroom teacher can use a blog in place of a traditional newsletter or website to communicate with parents and students, or even as an online portal to share content and encourage discourse about class content. Administrators can create a blog as a platform for communicating to parents and staff about upcoming events, as well as to spotlight outstanding students and staff. All educators, in general, can implement blogging as a means to reflect on daily happenings in their educational role, share pedagogy strategies that work, or provide tutorials and tips in a variety of areas in education. As a participant in the "Blasting into the Blogosphere" summer PD course, you were asked to blog about what you want to learn and how you intend to use your blog in your educational role. Many of you expressed interest in learning about how others use blogging with students and/or as a communication tool with parents.

In Week 2 of our "Blasting into the Blogosphere" course, we will explore some blogs created and maintained by educators of all types. Thus, your first order of business this week is to check out the following blogs.


After perusing the blogs, choose ONE blog that inspires you the most and answer these 5 questions in a blog post this week. Please be sure to include a link to the blog you are referencing. 



For your second blog post this week, I would like you to share your favorite educational website. As you write your post, please provide a link to the website, give a brief synopsis about the site, and then share why it is your favorite educational website. Then, read other Blogosphere course participants blog posts, choose one blog post, and leave a comment/feedback for your fellow colleague.

Need more reasons to support your blogging habit, and yes, I hope it does become a habit, read these two articles: Why Teachers and Students Should Blog and How Blogging Transformed My Classes. How can I support you in your quest to blog this school year? Answer this question in the comment section at the bottom of this blog post. 

16 comments:

  1. I'm all about accountability. If I knew that you were going to check my blog every couple of weeks (or at least once a month), I would be sure something new would be posted! Do you have plans to send gentle reminders, or could I ask you to do that? Just a thought... Thanks so much for all you do for us in Aledo ISD!!

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    1. I would be happy to provide a gentle nudge to keep you going in the blogosphere. One thing that I have found that holds me accountable is to include my blog's url in my email signature. While not many people may click on the link, I still have the thought in the back of my mind that you just never know when someone will click on the link. Thus, I try to post at least once or twice every couple of weeks to keep the content current. Of course, I'd really like to post more frequently and have set a goal to blog twice a week this school year. So, I will need some gentle nudges and accountability partners too! :)

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    2. April I like the idea of the blog link in your signature on emails. Never thought about that!

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  2. Quick question: I noticed several of the authors of these blogs refer to themselves in 3rd person on their "about" pages. Is this common? Any precedence for how to describe yourself?
    thanks!

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    1. Julie, great observation and question. I think it's a personal preference. Generally, the blogs that have an "about me" page written in third person seem to be by the bloggers who travel for presentation purposes. I prefer the more personal approach and like the first person "about me" descriptions.

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  3. I agree with Mrs Choate.... Having an accountability system will be a huge key to my success!! I fell confidante that I can use a blog to write about my classroom happenings, new teaching ideas & successes with the new initiatives I want to try out this year but I'm not quite sure how to incorporate my First graders into actively writing & keeping their own blogs. This year I will try to incorporate them through whole group discussion & blog responses & shared writing/blogging! Any ideas on including my First graders would be fabulous!!!

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    1. Jennifer, I am happy to provide some gentle reminders to you as well and look forward to following your blog this year. My first recommendation, in response to your question, is to start small. In the beginning, I would focus on your blog to depict the learning taking place in your classroom. While you can certainly use a site like KidBlogs to guide your students into the blogosphere with their own blogs, you may want to start smaller especially since your students don't have access to devices on a regular basis. Instead, you could select a student once a week or once a month to be your "guest blogger" or "class reporter." The student could write a short post and maybe a picture to represent their learning experiences.

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  4. Hi April,
    I would also love to have some benchmarks to keep track of my progress. It's fun to work on it now when I have lots of time but can envision letting it slide some when the school year is underway! There may already be some HS teachers who have a blog and I just haven't seen it. Maybe we can see if others are interested in joining our movement and I'll have some people to bounce ideas off of!

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  5. April... I love the idea of a student "guest blogger!" That would be fabulous!!! Thank you so much!!! I'm looking forward to my "Year of the Blog!"

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  6. My plan is to use your suggestion to do all of classroom updating on this blog. Then, I'll put a link on my email to help them find my scan code. A gentle reminder might be necessary for me, too!

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  7. I would find it most helpful if you will just continue to comment on and provide feedback about my blog. The comments and feedback really fuel my passion for blogging and encourage me to post again! I'd really like some ideas on how to grow my audience.

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  8. I love the idea of guest bloggers as well. The school year does get so busy. I would like to also use April's suggestion of the blog link in the email signature. April maybe you could send us links to good blogs you come across throughout the year as well as a reminder and the other members could do the same! :)

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  9. Hi April,

    I need advice on choosing the best platform for my classroom blog. I really liked the format of Mrs. Moulden's from Godley which is on blogspot. I also like the idea of each student having his or her blog, as Mrs. McNally mentioned in her article but I got a little lost when she talked about linking, etc. She uses Edublog. HELP!!

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  10. I would find it helpful to have a gentle, or even a not so gentle reminder as well April.

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  11. I am so glad others have asked for the gentle/not-so-gentle blog reminders. I have signed up for your Remind101, yay! I would like to suggest a topic to blog about along with the reminder, just in case I come to a road block. It's nice to have other ideas and options.

    I also agree with Mrs. Turner. Could you advise how to grow our audience as well as provide comments and feedback?

    I know I am way late in completing these tasks, better late than never. I truly want to cultivate my blogging habits even if I don't receive the PD credits. Thanks again for all your help.

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