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Mar 06

Class Blogging with Students

This post is for activity 5 of the Blogging with Students challenge. I’ll be honest. I am having a really hard time with this one.  I know I want to have students contribute to our class blog, but I really have not worked out in what capacity.

When the school year started, I thought I would have a blogger in each class whose job it would be to update the class blog with what we did each day in class. It really did not work out for a few reasons. There wasn’t enough time at the end of class for them to do it, I would still need to go in and upload handouts, etc., and I didn’t take the time to train students on what to do.

Now I am thinking that having students post on topics might be a better idea. Or perhaps also cross-posting a really exemplary post about an assignment from students’ blogs.

All of my students have their own blog, and I really like the idea that Mr. Carson has about students earning badges for their blogs. I think I could have two or three different levels that students could earn as we go through the process of setting up student portfolios and getting proficient with using them throughout the year. I am not sure if this is something I will work on for this year, or if I will just wait until next school year. We only have two weeks left this quarter, and after that, we will only have one quarter left in the school year, and the fourth nine weeks always goes by so fast! It’s hard to believe how quickly this year is progressing!

Do you have any suggestions of ways I can involve students more with the class blog? I definitely see our class blog evolving from a place where I primarily dispense information to a place where we collaborate and share together.

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  1. MrDCarson

    I really enjoyed your conclusion. Really is my new philosophy to teaching – I enjoy teaching much more now that I am sharing in the learning process with others. It is so much better to share and collaborate rather than download information.

    Time really does fly and I never seem like I have enough time. If it were me I would try to introduce it to my class now as a test and then it will give you plenty of time to rework and improve it for next year.

    What are the three different types of badges you are thinking of using?

    1. Janelle

      I’m thinking about something like this

      Level 1

      Set up blog, changed theme, wrote first post, created an avatar, added about page.

      Level 2

      Posts at least once weekly a non-assigned topic, made at least 5 comments, set up blog roll

      Level 3

      Posts regularly on assigned and unassigned topics, comments regularly on other students’ blogs, added additional pages to blog, customized sidebar.

      That’s just a rough idea – I need to think it through a little bit more. I think I could also have some additional badges like a commenting all-star, class blog author, exemplary post award, etc. I’m definitely still working through it. Thanks for your encouragement!

  2. Marsha Ratzel

    Dear Janelle,
    I like the categories that you mentioned in your comment. I’m just wondering if each level shouldn’t have some kind of writing goal and/or content goal with it. I love all these blogging challenges (and they do incorporate writing goals very often) but I feel very responsible for keeping it tied closely to my curriculum. Otherwise I feel like I”m opening myself up to criticism from parents and administrators who think it’s a waste of time and resources. I think you may have covered this by having required and non-required posts because I’m assuming the required posts might be on your content. (and I’ve been reading some your student’s blogs I think about weather???)

    I think it would be an easy tweak. If, for example, on their About Page for level 1…they needed to show you ________________________ writing technique and that it demonstrated _________________ internet safety protocols. You could multiply the bang for your buck!!!! Likewise, I can image badges that are both blogging techie oriented, writing techniques oriented and writing competency oriented.

    What do you think? Your post made me think about what I am doing so my comment is almost a brainstorming of what I need to do as well as a comment on what you’re thinking. Maybe we can all work together to blend ideas and come up with something pretty fantastic. That’s for the spark to my thinking.

    marsha

    1. Janelle

      Great thoughts, Marsha. Including content goals is probably a good idea. My students use their blogs as portfolios for science (and some students use them for other classes, too). So I do have an expectation that certain things are included on everyone’s blogs, but making it official as part of the badges is a good idea.

      There are so many ideas for badges! I think I’m going to have to start a brainstorm list and start working on some designs. Thanks for giving me even more to think about!

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