Passing Notes in School Has Gone High-Tech

Blah... Blah... Blogging? Yes, it's true. Weblogs, also known as blogs, are becoming more and more popular with teachers today.

Are you kidding me?

Nope! Blogging is the wave of the future. This activity is an new and innovative way for students to express themselves with an authentic audience. From brainstorming to organizing to writing, revising, and peer review, blogs are natural tools that lend themselves to the writing process in any content area. Because blogs can have more of an audience than just the teacher, students are engaged in sharing, communicating, and exchanging ideas on a larger scale and see a permanency to their words that a composition paper can never equal.

Blogs are written about just about any subject. Their entries appear in reverse chronological order (newest entries on top). Blogs contain reflections, ideas, conversations, links to great resources and even multimedia. Blogging is a two-way street in which readers can participate in the experience by commenting on blog entries, thus creating online conversations. Participants are encouraged to leave comments, start conversations and interact with others.

Teachers use blogs to share and gather ideas and to stay informed with the latest developments in their field of specialty. There are thousands, probably millions, of participants in the 'edublogosphere', all happy to share their ideas with you and engage in meaningful dialogue about educational issues. In the classroom, blogs are used to create collaborative learning spaces where teachers and students make discoveries, share ideas and discuss important topics.

In a nutshell, blogging in education provides a communication space that teachers and students can utilize to develop a concept, share ideas, and reflect on current and past assignments. Not only do these networks promote reading, writing, and critical thinking, blogs create a viable classroom outside of the classroom, giving the students and the teacher more flexibility in the learning process.

Blogging is incredibly easy to do. It takes very little time, it's free, and it's a great way to open your classroom to a world of ideas!

To better understand the concept of blogging, check out this video entitled "Blogs in Plain English":

Educational Benfits/Classroom Applications:

  • Research shows that blogging promotes critical and analytical thinking.
  • Blogging combines the best of reflection and social interaction.
  • Create a class portal where students can access supplemental materials, syllabuses, homework, assignment rubrics and other communications.
  • Students can collaborate with each other online, sharing ideas and learned from one another.
  • Classrooms can be opened up to a wider community, allowing other schools to collaborate on projects.
  • Students can submit work electronically to a blog, creating a central repository for all completed assignments.
  • Students' work can be archived into a culminating e-portfolio.
  • Schools and departments can use blogs to archive minutes from meetings, create ongoing dialogues, share links and store documents and presentations
  • Materials and resources can be archived online for easy locating in the future.
  • Blogging in schools allows for online assessment and interaction with the user.

Popular Blog Creation Sites for Educators:

  • Class Blogmeister ~ Teachers' favorite web site for classroom
  • Edublog ~ Free blogs for students, teachers, librarians, and other educators
  • Gaggle Blogs ~ Dedicated to providing safe blogging environments for students

Real-world Examples of Classroom Blogging:

Additional Resources: