Student Blogs

Cross Posted to  .

A while ago, perhaps about a year, I was wondering if anyone had taken up blogging with their students – or, rather, getting their students their own blogs.  I was frustrated with the fact that blogger, wordpress, livejournal, and tumblr had all been blocked by the school’s firewall.  (Fahrenheit 451 Wall, is more like it.  The other day, I was blocked from opening a student’s essay on irony because she had talked about "The Cask of Amontillado" and used to word "kill" in the summary.  But that rant is not what this post is about…)  Since then, I’ve found Edublogs, which is allowed past the school’s firewall.  It’s basically WordPress and, for the most part, was rather difficult for them to figure out.  I think we’ve got the hang of it now…

However, after they created their blogs and set up their URLs and got everything together, they looked at me and said "Now what?"
"Um…the air conditioning is broken.  Write about how hot it is." I responded…

 Because i hadn’t thought that far ahead.  And apparently, neither has the internets, because I’ve found many and mucho information about incorporating student blogging into the classroom experience.  I already had discussion boards, which the students did regularly, I wanted something that was their own.  And, the blogging that I’ve witnessed from other classes looks more like someone took journal assignments and posted them online – but hasn’t had their kids do much more with it.  There’s also a student blogging challenge, which appears to be more related to fixin’ up a blog than using blogs in lessons.

So far, I’ve done a few things. I’d decided that, since they’re seniors, on Wednesdays, they will use blogs to explore college essay writing – but then I became afraid that someone might steal their precious work off the ‘nets.  (So far, the work hasn’t been precious enough to steal, but, yeah..)  I also decided that on Fridays they would link to and talk about a current events issue – however, so far, embedding video on the edublog doesn’t seem to be much of an option.

So.
I have a teacher blog.
My students have student blogs.
Now what?

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About alburnet

New mom, new natural, and..for the last year...still a new teacher!

Posted on September 12, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I have used Edu blogs for a teacher blog. It needs to be updated. Many of my students and or parents don’t use it. Although it does sound good on paper, sadly many of my students don’t have internet or when they can access it, it won’t be to visit their teacher’s blog. lol! But in any case, that’s my excuse for not updating.
    I have not utilized student blogs. But if I were I would use it as an opportunity to get them to write more. It could also be setup like discussion board- give them topics to respond. These could be random topics or relevant to something you are studying in class. For example, if you were reading a novel, you could have them blog in response to the characters, as if they were the character, if they were in the story, etc.
    Check out glogster.com. It’s an online interactive poster. I researched it for a grad class. I’ve yet to use it cause of the technology issues at my school and the students’ own dilemnas. I look forward to incorporating more, but it’s dependent on resources. Maybe I could get donors on the Donorschoose site to pay for a laptop for the classroom. We have a lab that will be opening soon, but no classroom computers.
    I know I’m all over the place, but I just got some more ideas. In my class students have a daily opening assignment/ journal. I connect this to a story, content in class, vocabulary, or grammar. So the blogs could function in the same way. Hope this helps 🙂 Let me know how it goes.
    I read your post again. You have seniors, so maybe some of these ideas could be adapted for them.

  2. I just read your other entry. You teach 12th grade. Cool! I’ve only taught 9th and 10th. Not sure if I’d care to move up.

    • Thanks for replying!
      So, we’ve been using the student blogs to kind of…do a few discussion topics. With my seniors, I’ve given them college prompts on Wednesdays and current events assignments on Fridays. I haven’t moved much farther than that.
      I’ve used glogster – in fact, my students are in the process of using glogster to create collages (these are my freshman) for their “Greek Myth or Monster” Research. I was hoping to do a different take on the traditional research paper. They’re going to post it to my wikispace.
      However, Glogster is SLOW. SUH-LOW.
      And it doesn’t help, I think, when I’m trying to have twenty little people using it on the same network at the same time.
      It looks cool, but I’m going to have to figure out something.
      Oh – and I absolutely love British Lit and American Lit – you might consider moving up just to get an opportunity to switch up the lit. you teach. I’ve taught ’em all.
      Seniors can be fun.

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