Monday, April 26, 2010

921-Session 12-Research Supporting Edublog Usage

This session is research-based, and a little heavy on the statistics, so take what you can from the information, save the citations, and use them in the future if you need to substantiate and legitimize edublogging in the classroom.

But before we do that you may be interested in checking out this screencast on how to turn your blog postings into audio for differentiated instruction. (Click on it twice):

This session will be spent on gaining background knowledge on the research out there suppporting edublogs in the classroom. It is ready to be downloaded. While you are waiting, check out just a few of your peers' blogs.

  • Jennifer created a team blog where she and a few other school librarians will co-author the postings. This is a great example of how to foster collaboration with your peers, and an additional bonus is that it reduces the workload.

  • Kim added some great 'suggested readings' in the margin, as well as a cool widget and survey feature.

  • Donna has added some video and a 'visitor counter.'

  • Diane has tons of kids commenting.

  • Joanna is using her blog to spread the word and teach other teachers.

  • Andrea's adding screencasts and picture slideshows.

  • Leilani is having fun with her Kindergarten class and has added a weather pixie.

  • And last, but not least, Stephanie is experimenting with giving her entire class the option to be authors, so that they can write their own posts.

Also, check out, some of these links to past participants' postings and blogs.

Additionally, one recent posting that I really like is from:
this is from just one of the blogs that I subscribe to. It addresses the "Rationalization for Educational Blogging." It is very well written and a great place to start when trying to substantiate edublog usage in the classroom.

Also check out Christian's blog. I suggested he take a look at and he took the ball and ran with it. (His March '07 postings) What great examples of presenting student work for an external audience. Fantastic!

And lastly, you'll find a number of links in the left hand margin that will bring you to screencasts for a few of Blogger's tools and resources. Check them out and don't forget to experiment with adding gadgets.

Good luck and have fun!


Past participants' comments:

and older past participant comments and insights may be accessed here.


Dana Dones said...

Session 12

This session consisted of a lot of research related material. I read some but not all. As I move throughout the Navy in the Education and Training dept if I ever need to create a point paper for a supervisor I will be sure to go back to the material. With that said there were two areas that I thought could easily be used to get children involved. The Voki (avatar like) animation. With this website run by you can create an Avatar like cartoon and have him/her speak in an animation voice with attractable graphics. I ran into trouble when I tried to install the Voki, which I named VokiDana onto my blog. The great news is I called the oddcast phone number (212) 375-6290 and they talked me through the installation process using the go to meeting service that most of you have seen on TV. Needless to say I was thrilled and wanted to share this with you guys.

The other subject I wanted to talk about was the suggested reading from the PowerPoint in session 12 that was titled “Using Wikis to Create Online Communities.” The article noted how great it would be if libraries would add a wiki functionality to their catalog which would allow users to post synopsis of specific books they have already been read. This would help us avoid going to the library to read parts of a book only to find out the book is not suitable for our topic. I can truly stand by this idea.

Alexandra Phelan said...

Hi- I am unable to open the article linked to slide 9 (I think)..."Meta-Analysis of Effectiveness of Teaching/Learning..." Is anyone else having a hard time with that?
I too am very grateful to have all of this information and will definitely being coming back to this more as I get better/more practiced. I am not through exploring just wanted to see if that article was accessible by everyone else? Thank you.

Dana Dones said...

Hi Alexandra, Yes I also had trouble opening it. It was garbled. Sometimes those links cause my computer to freeze it's very frustrating. Contact Dave and he may be able to email it to us. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

This week’s session was filled with lots of great information. While I found it interesting, it didn’t really surprise me. I feel as though it became obvious early on in the course that implementing these Web 2.0 tools in the classroom would have a profound positive impact. It seems as though most of these readings simply reinforced that idea. I do feel as though they will be helpful in the event that I need to convince my administrators to remove some of our current software blocks that prevent blogging.
I really enjoyed the Television Goes to School article. Personally, I do use video in my classroom throughout the year. There are concepts that we cover in animal science that are difficult for students to comprehend simply through reading. I can’t expect them to understand and visualize a swine operation or dairy operation if they have never seen one. So many of them lack any real understanding of American agricultural practices that reading an article or viewing a PowerPoint just won’t do the job. I most certainly agree with the statistics produced by the Wiman and Mierhenry study that concluded that people remember 50% of what they see and hear. This further encourages me to begin experimenting with podcasting and adding videos to my blog.
There were a few small surprises this week. I had never really considered the impact of technology and computer use on preschool aged children and was surprised to learn that there is in fact a positive effect. I was also surprised to learn from the Effects of using instructional technology in elementary and secondary schools: What controlled evaluation studies say reading that there is a positive correlation between the Internet and a student’s writing skills. I understand that the Internet provides students with a wide range of information and a variety of sources that they can use in their writing but in some ways I think it can be problematic. What I’ve noticed, at least at the high school level is that in students rely too much on the Internet. Sometimes, it almost seems “too easy”. It’s sort of like they no longer have to think for themselves. All of the information they need is right at their fingertips, and they simply “regurgitate it”. I remember the good old days when research papers meant long nights in the library, digging through the card catalog, photocopying and highlighting sources, and really searching for the information we needed. These are skills that I think many students have lost. Maybe I’m just old fashioned and these are no longer important skills. I just feel as though maybe there is such a thing as “too convenient”.
I really enjoyed Anne’s post from Edublog Insights. It would have been incredibly useful for my Deliverable 3!. This particular portion really stood out: “The continuously changing technologies of literacy mean that we must help children learn how to learn new technologies of literacy. In fact, the ability to learn continuously changing technologies for literacy may be a more critical target than learning any particular technology of literacy itself.” This is what was really trying to stress in my proposal to implement blogging. I feel that my school is doing a disservice to our students by blocking access to edublogs, not only because they are denying students the chance to experience them but also because it prevents teaching from teaching how to properly use them. To be honest, I haven’t experimented much with my own blog because I know that I can’t currently use it in school (I’m hoping to change this in the near future!). This particular reading is one I am eager to share with my administrator.

Cheryl said...

I agree with the other participants that this week's readings give us a great deal of valuable information to use as we justify why we would like to use these tools. I had a hard time really reading over all since I've been trying to update my current blog. There is still so much to do.

The information about adding audio to a blog was interesting, but I probably wouldn't use it at this time because it was a bit "creepy" to hear the blog read in that computer voice. I think I will continue to encourage my learners who need the audio support to use until I figure out another way to add audio directly on the blog. It's a great concept, though.

I think one of the hardest things about this course is that there is so much great information and I get really excited about the possibility of using all of these great tools. It's been really hard to tell myself that there will be time to try everything out some day, but for now I really need to limit what I can do. I found myself going in so many different directions, that I forgot to stay somewhat grounded and to try a few of what I've learned. I need to be satisfied with doing only a little for now.

Mrs. McAllister said...

I agree with M. Searle that implementing Web 2.0 tools in the classroom has a profound positive impact. Learning in the classroom is in a constant state of change... what with the use of Blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo streams, and vlogs. Yet we continue to favor print in classrooms over all other mediums. I agree that it is important to teach students to access all the technologies and their possibilities. Unfortunately, we have some students that do not have access to such technology. Multiple students in my class are unable to start a simple powerpoint or reply to a blog because they don't have a computer. I appreciate the fact that as teachers we must push all students to access technology but it's frustrating assigning roles for collaborative learning using the class wiki for a group of four students and have student say they can't do it. I know that at least letting the students know that such means of communication is out there is a good start.

I have tried to move away from paper assignments and have incorporated video clips and interactive science diagrams into daily lessons. It has been easy to share technology with students and start applying it to my subject... especially blogs. I am still working on incorporating the class wiki due to time constraints...we are doing practice sessions for NECAP testing next week.

I liked reading the tips in the article "Television goes to school, the impact of video on student learning in formal education." I have been applying them but it's nice to have them verified. I agree 100% with the proverb: “Seeing is believing.”
The research has shown that seeing is remembering, as people generally remember about twice as much when they see and hear something, than when they
only see or hear it."
The tips for using television/video in the classroom include:
Determining the setting and length of the video
Setting clear expectations for students
Encouraging student participation through
Setting the context before viewing
questions and flag priority topics
Promoting reflection through post-viewing discussion and assignments
Connecting post-viewing activities to hands on or real-world experiences

I feel in order for technology to have a positive learning effect on student learning, it is imperative that has we make sure students understand the connection it makes to the real world or how it relates to the main purpose of the lesson. For example, a blog is a great Web 2.0 tool for teachers to use in the classroom that can be tied into lesson content. Blogs have many, many different applications for student learning...sharing their thoughts on a given topic,answering a reflection question after reading thoughts that either agree or do not agree with their opinion and interacting with experts in a given field of science.

All in all, students have been eager to embrace anything technical and can soon tell me new information on it.