Using Social Media in the Classroom, Part 3: Blogging

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In this third installment of using social media in the classroom, another interesting option is introducing blogging to your students. This gives students an opportunity to develop communication skills, to reflect on their learning, and to share their perspective on the world around them. There are, however, several tips and tricks to maximize effective blogging in the classroom. Explore the resources presented to discover ways you can leverage blogging in the classroom.


Before getting started:
  • Set clear expectations and requirements with regards to writing. Include goals for what you are trying to accomplish, i.e., integration of content skills. So many times we fail to really detail where we are headed and what skills and knowledge the students will acquire as a result.
  • Detail school guidelines with regards to FERPA, acceptable use policies, and digital citizenship in general. Plagiarism is rampant. This is the perfect forum to spotlight this.
  • Read other blogs, dissect them, have students evaluate them and analyze where they want to go with their blog. This is an important piece to the planning process. The selection of the template and how the blog is organized must require some pre-planning.
  • Detail typical grammatical errors and good writing practices. Blogging is a great way to implement content standards with a real-world connection. This is a great opportunity for students to find their voice.
  • Look for opportunities to collaborate with professional bloggers. This would be a great "entry event" to introduce blogging to your classroom. There are also opportunities to collaborate with other classrooms around the world. Take it a step further and map the connections. An easy way to do this is to embed a Visitors Map Widget.
  • Require students to comment on classmates' blogs. This has a twofold purpose. Students learn to formulate meaningful comments that further conversations. The other benefit here is it encourages them to write in a way that ignites conversation.
Social Studies:
  • Current Events-this is a great opportunity to make global connections.
  • Report and reflect on historical events, culture, eras
  • Spotlight historical characters
  • Daily Scribe-Reflect on learning
  • Editorialize content being covered
ELA:
  • Daily Journal-are you having your ELA students journal everyday? Take it to the cloud, provide an authentic audience, and give your students the opportunity to develop their voices.
  • Journal as a literary character
  • Critique literature/reading assignments
  • Group writing exercises-develop stories collaboratively
  • Editorials-let students develop their voice through expressing their opinions
  • Chronicle the reading assignments-detail their thoughts and experiences as they read through the assigned texts
  • Interview writers or other experts in their field to develop the skills of the interview process. (Use the Marcel Proust format.)
Science:
  • Blog as science detectives-assign an ongoing research topic and have students blog about their explorations and discoveries
  • Reflect on their learning; the blog could become a learning log or exam review
  • Further explore various aspects of the content area and blog about their findings-take the learning deeper
  • Spotlight famous scientists and their work
  • Interview scientific experts in their field using the Marcel Proust format.
Math:
  • Exploring mathematical thinking-have students reflect and connect math to their world. Help them develop mathematical thinking through blogging.
  • Interview mathematical experts in their field using the Marcel Proust format.
  • 'I Spy'-have students hunt for math in their world. This is a great way to make connections to math in their world. This is a great way to add video and pictures to their blog.

Need help with Blogger? Check out this Blogger Tutorial:



Additional Social Media posts:
Part One, Twitter          Part Two, Instagram and Vine          Part Four, Edmodo
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