Tuesday, June 22, 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: http://anne.teachesme.com/2007/01/17/rationale-for-educational-blogging/
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 Slideshare.net 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.


Mary said...

Hello everyone,
It is Tuesday morning, a full 5 days after this course was posted. It appears that there are 0 comments so far; which surprises me. I thought I would be one of the last to participate.

My name is Mary Gotham. I am a high school librarian in a large, suburban school district in Upstate NY. I've been in Education for 15 years, 10 of them as a librarian, 1st at the elem level and for the past seven years at high school.

I hope to learn more about blogs and wikis. I am in the process of putting together a professional development format for the teachers in my building to learn Web 2.0. I'm not sure which platform will work best for our needs. I also want to have a way to assess teacher's progress and their future needs. I think this course will help me with both areas.

I can be reached by email me at megotham@hotmail.com. I don't always check it daily, but try to a couple times each week.

Mary said...

A few of my thoughts on this week’s readings:
The articles all touched on one basic theme. The Internet, blogs, wikis and social networks have changed the way people communicate. These new venues have given voice to the voiceless and expanded reader audiences. At the same time it has allowed “like” authors and audience to connect in a meaningful and mutually beneficial way. People interested in specific fields such as photography, gardening, education… can easily locate who and what they want to follow. The necessity for a middleman (news agency, publisher, book store…) is diminished tremendously. In many respects this is a good thing. The audience determines who and what they want to read or participate in. The author has an authentic audience that provides worthwhile and pertinent feedback, often furthering discussion and fostering growth for all parties.

Some of the drawbacks were also touched on in this weeks reading. The sheer volume of information, networks, blogs, vlogs and podcasts makes it virtually impossible to connect with everyone and everything that is relevant to you. By the same token, it has contributed to a rise in mediocrity of information. My early twitter experiences are a perfect example of this. When I first joined twitter my network was very small. I had few followers and I only followed people I knew personally. It was quick and easy to keep up with all my twitter correspondence. As I became savvier, I sought out people that would contribute to my PLN (personal learning network). I worked diligently and selectively to create a network that was highly relevant for me. I “unfollowed” scores of people that seemed to post “stream of conscientiousness” and others that posted topics that were not related to education and web 2.0. I attribute my selection process to the increase in good information. My twitter connections ended up being extremely useful.

As my network grew, I felt that I had to scan every twitter feed that came through so that I wouldn’t miss anything. For awhile I was spending a couple of hours each day on twitter. Many times the twitter feeds link to published news articles other times to personal or professional blogs. The volume of really good information was greater than my ability to keep up. When I realized that I couldn’t maintain that level of participation, I had to balance my twitter use to make it manageable.

I have learned more about web 2.0 and integrating technology in education through twitter than I have through published texts. Not to say books have not been useful; they have become, for me, supplemental. As a librarian who grew up on books, I find this both refreshing and rather ironic.