Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thing Four - Student Blogging

Blog Posts by Students

  • Blog post not done or entry does not relate to topic
  • Blog post simple and on topic
  • Does not include resources or links
  • Blog post thoughtful and on topic
  • Includes links and/or sources used
Comments or Responses that students leave on other student blogs
  • Comments not written or do not address the  topic of the blog
  • Comments address the topic but do not make the blogger rethink his or her own post
  • Comments address topic and lead to further postings on blog  by author or others.

I created as simple of a blog as I could for 1st grade and would expand on it as their use of blogs improves. I read through many sites to help, most were for higher grades but gave me ideas of how to start. One of the best starting points for me came from looking at Meg's Blogagogy
Meg's page referenced a list of Do's and Don'ts from Susan Hyde Suite 101 - Grading with Assessment Rubrics
When I expand it, I think it should look something like the one found on this page, Blogging Rubric by Clarence Fisher 

A side note, I did find a page that has links for numerous rubrics for just about every subject and grade level. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thing Three - Blogging

  When people write in blogs, they expect responses or feed back from others. Blogging in education is not about merely completing an assignment, but more about the interactions and dialog that take place around the assignment. It connects people to one another, and not just student to teacher. Blogs are also used by many outside of education as a means to connect with others with similar interests. It allows people to be globally connected, even if they have never met face to face.

   Blog reading is different from other types of reading in that it is done on a computer and, not only do you read what the blog page owner wrote, but you can read responses to what he or she blogged. It can also contain links to other sites and pages that help support the blogger's opinion.  Once you find a blog page you like, you can follow it and read whenever the blogger posts. While working on this assignment, one of the blogs that I read was Is this SSR 2.0? by Mark Ahlness. Mark is a 3rd grade teacher and he was reflecting on the type of reading he did during SSR, which was check e-mail and read through the blogs he followed. So he tried something different, he let his students read blogs. They could not respond during SSR time, only read. He continued to offer blog reading as a choice during SSR and all the kids chose this format. When he asked them about it, they had insightful answers which he then loaded as a podcast to his blog. Here is that link too. SSR 2.0 - a podcast . I wonder how many of those students would go back to blogs they had read during SSR either during writing or when at home so they could respond to a post?I think this would be a wonderful option to offer to students. Reading of blogs can also be considered similar to other types of reading due in part to the array of subject choices. One can find blogs on cooking, reading, fishing, gaming, math, history and so on. The choices are virtually endless.

  The words Will Richardson used in Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts and Other powerful Web Tools for Classrooms (2010) sums up how blog writing and other types of writing are different and yet similar.
The differences between blogging in this manner and writing as we traditionally think of it are clear: Writing stops; blogging continues. Writing is inside; blogging is outside. Writing is monologue; blogging is conversation. Writing is thesis; blogging is synthesis... none of which minimizes the importance of writing. But writing becomes an ongoing process, one that is not just done for the contrived purposes of the classroom (p30-31).
  When someone chooses to comment on a blog, you know that something in the original post made them stop and think. Occasionally you might see the "I like your page" comment, but most comments tie to what was read. I hope that this would be the beginning of some deeper learning as you, as the reader and commenter, decide and possibly challenge what is being said. This could lead to discourse and in doing so is allowing people to build meaning from the conversation.

  While thinking about blogging literacy and how it affects the way we read and write, I decided to do a Google search for "blogging literacy". I found a blog that seems to really address this issue. Langwitches - Web Literacy and Differentiated Teacher Blogs and there was a picture that really showed the ladder of blogging for education.

   Now this ladder shows the different steps that we as teachers will take with blog use and I would think that a student ladder would look much the same way. As students start with blogs, show them some and let them read. Next they can post a response to a blog. Then they may start their own blog and look forward to the responses they get and then they will start linking blogs to theirs and hopefully collaborating with people from across the globe. This will affect the way we read and write because it is no longer a "single person" doing the reading and writing, but a collective.
  Blogging is another tool that we need to keep in our belts to help facilitate learning. Collaboration becomes ingrained in the process and blogging can cross all areas of the curriculum. connections can be established with other classes and even experts in fields of study. It seems blogging might be one of the simplest ways to begin with Web 2.0. I certainly am enjoying my journey and feel that I have learned a great deal from reading, posting and creating blogs

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Design and Development

Will all of this design and development stuff serve you as an educational technology and/or teacher leader? If so, how? If not, what are your quandaries?

I believe that learning about design and development will help me as an educational technology and/or teacher leader. Many times in a position of being a leader one must  give presentations to other staff members. Learning how design affects how people perceive information, can allow you to create a presentation that is pleasing to the eye. This may seem a minor thing, but it is a good way to begin with your targeted audience. You will probably be able to keep their attention longer and have them more engaged in your presentation if the media you provide is visually and aesthetically pleasing. I just hope that I will remember it all as we move along and that it will become something that is ingrained and when planning, it comes naturally.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thing One (ITEC 7430)

What does Web 2.0 look like in my school? Not much right now other than use of the Promethean boards. There are few, if any, teachers with Blog pages. Several teachers use United Streaming within instruction but computers are used primarily for communication between teachers and with administration as well as the county. Students computer use is primarily drill and practice or for research.

The article a day in the life of web 2.0 sounds not too far off from where some schools are headed. I hope that all schools will move in that direction soon. My children attended a middle school that was rich in technology and encouraged student use, but most of those students came from homes with computers. I don't think that having a computer at home is essential, but it sure does make it easier for children to explore technology. There are not many families at my school that have computers at home so the urgency has not really been there to vamp up Web 2.0 tool use.

 I hope that through this class, my perspectives will change regarding ways to incorporate more technology use into the classroom to enrich student learning and to light a spark among students for a desire to learn. I know I will need to use the tools more myself to really get the feel for how I could incorporate it into education. I do see many possible uses for older students but am still struggling as to how to incorporate much of the emerging technology with younger students who have little exposure to computers outside of school.