Why are we using blogging in the classroom?

This afternoon, I posted about two teachers in G-Town who are experimenting with blogging in the classroom. When I posted, I was thinking about the technology and the fact that the students are really being expected to do the same kinds of things as in a traditional classroom, just in a different medium. I was wondering how much valuable time will be spent on the technology and if it’s motivating our students to learn the content.

Will Richardson posted today and it was exactly what was on my mind about teachers using blogging in the classroom.

Will writes, “At some point, I’m hoping Jeff will scaffold up from “the same-old-report in a different format that has a big audience” work to more “critical analysis of the content that we’re producing to test our ideas” work. I mean that, at it’s core, is what is powerful about these technologies. They allow us to take risks with our ideas, to test them in authentic ways with real audiences, and learn from the process. (In many ways, this post is a risk.) Why shouldn’t we be asking students to do the same?”

I wonder what that could look like. I’ve only been blogging since July and I want students to feel that same motivation that I do to write. But I’m not following an assignment. I’m writing about the topic that’s most motivating to me and I’m writing for an audience who shares that interest. I’m excited to hear what they say about my ideas. I’m disappointed when what I write resonates with no one and I get no feedback. That’s what I want our students to have. A reason to write well with well thought out ideas for a real audience.  

  1. Pingback: Rachel James » Blog Archive » Teacher as Facilitator

  2. Pingback: Teaching to reach every single student » Blog Archive » Good example of using blogs in a classroom.

  3. Crystal, I just looked over at your blog and loved how you were using it. While you may not care about teaching writing or literacy, you are engaging the students in a conversation, which is definitely one of my goals as well.

  4. Maybe I’m not utilizing my blog the way it has been intended to be used, atleast not the way that it is being portrayed here. I’m not looking for them to become great writers, although I would like for them to at least write with proper diction and grammar. My goal is to teach computer science, and for my students to have a place to share ideas on problem solving techniques. Part of problem solving is doing a little research, and I’ve made them lazy about this research. They have just turned to me to “fill them up”. Now, I’m asking them to fill eachother up with ideas. Look at the blog see if the question has already been asked and answered. Share what they are struggling with, and see if that will spark a conversation, that will lead to an answer.

    This is how I am trying to make blogging work for me.

  5. Steve’s comment is very interesting to me.

    In general, I have been wondering this year in particular about how much of the work and responsibility in the classroom belongs to me and how much belongs to the students.

    I am hoping that what occurs out of using blogs (and wikis) with my students is that they move away from what Steve describes and what I call the “worksheet mentality.”

  6. I am hoping that over time I will be able to hand the car keys over to my students, putting them securely in the diver’s seat. But, not all students are intrinsically motivated to explore the world of literature and then to create and support their opinions and ideas. This process is a slow one.

    For these projects to work, students need to understand that school is not just about answering a bunch of question that a teacher posts for homework, the kind of assignments where the teacher announces, “So for tonight, read pages 256 through 263 and answer questions 1 through 7 on page 264 to be handed in at the begging of class.” The kind of assignments that are graded quickly by the teacher and are thrown out even quicker the moment they are handed back to the students.

    Once the students working on blogs realize that others are actually reading their work, that others are actual interested in what they are saying for better or worse, they will start to become accountable for their own ideas and content.

    Eventually, every student should have the same freedom that you have when you write your blog. But first they will need direction until they realize an audience exists.

    Student are not the only ones in the classroom that need to change.
    Teachers need to become more flexible than ever in our assessments, differentiating between students and their individual abilities and goals.

Comments are closed.