Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blogs :)

Hey Guys I have begun my exploration by looking at blogs. Blogs or weblogs are perhaps one of the simplest technological tools that one can implement into the classroom. According to Blogger in the Classroom, ‘blogs are simply web pages, often made up of short, informal, and frequently updated posts”. As I have learnt, blogs are an easy and effective way to post and publish text and pictures to a large audience. They also have the built in ability for posters (people who post the blog) to receive feedback and respond to other people’s post. Blogging is a form of digital literacy as it allows users to read and understand text, images, and sounds.
There are many different free blogging sites that can be used. Some examples include;
· http://www.blogger.com
· http://www.edublog.com/
So now that I understand what a blog is the question becomes; why should I use it? Blogs can be used for many different purposes. They can be used as marketing tools, educational tools, communication tools, even just as a means of expressing one’s opinion. The choice is up to the user as to what content they want to display in their blog.
According to Blogger in the Classroom(2009);
“Blogs make it easy for teachers to:
· Post resources, lessons, and homework,
· Keep parents up to date on class happenings,
· Reflect on their own teaching practices and share their ideas with other educators”.
“Blogs make it easy for students to:
· Share school work with their peers, parents, and others,
· Collaborate on projects and get feedback from others,
· Keep a reflective journal throughout the school year”.

So as you can see there are many educational advantages of using blogs in your classroom. If I were to implement blogs into my classroom one way in which I would do it would be to use it as a reflective tool. Because “reflection is seen as an active and deliberative cognitive process, involving sequences of interconnected ideas which take account of underlying beliefs and knowledge”(Adler, 1991, P140), it is a very important part of the learning journey.
In my year 6 class the students complete a unit termed ‘Where Does my Shopping Come From’. Here there is a focus on healthy eating and nutrition. An example of using blogs in the classroom could see my students writing a reflective blog of their eating habits and exercise routine each day. They would have to make informed decisions as to weather they are sufficiently eating healthy and exercising, or not. They could make suggestions as to how to improve their diet and perhaps look at uploading pictures of the types of foods they have eaten into their blogs. This activity can be done at home or at school and requires very little resources, only a computer and an internet connection is needed.

· Blogger 2009: Blogger in the Classroom. (2009). Retrieved 5 July, 2009, from Central Queensland Website; http://www.infinitethinking.org/stuff/bloger.pdf
· Adler, S. (1991). The Reflective Practitioner and the Curriculum of Teacher Education. Journal of Education for Teaching 17(2), 139-150

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