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The educational field is becoming more and more technological, as much of the technology we use in our daily lives is being integrated into the classroom (with consideration given to student safety, or course). For educators, this means that we need to become proficient with current technology in order to better reach our students at their comfort level, and motivate them to be active participants in our classrooms. This mini-course will focus on one type of current technology that is being used in the classroom: blogs. Although blogs can be used in many aspects of the curriculum, this mini-course will specifically focus on how to safely integrate blogs in the literacy content area of any classroom or grade level.
By reading literature on best practice of blog integration, watching videos, and participating in group discussions, participants will:
- identify potential dangers of using a blog and determine appropriate and relevant safety features for their particular students
- develop a discussion and comment tool kit, to be utilized as a reference for blog use in the future
- demonstrate their understanding of blogs and their basic functions (ex: fonts/images, homepage, title, adding students, creating discussion pages) by developing their own classroom literacy blog.
- demonstrate their understanding of blogs in the literacy classroom by generating two literacy blog discussions targeted for their specific class (ex: student make-up, grade level, literacy focus).
- Instructional Problem
It is clear that the world in which we live and teach is becoming more and more technological. Students are entering the classroom with more technology literacy than ever before. Educators must tap into this knowledge and interest to reach students and encourage them to perform at their highest level. There is a great amount of literature on this topic. This literature calls for and provides support for the inclusion of blogging technology in the classroom to promote a variety of literacy activities. However, in my teaching practice, it seems that many educators are a bit weary of implementing this technology for a variety of reasons, for example not being familiar with the technology, or not knowing how to utilize the safety features. This mini course, which will take place completely online, is intended to educate participants on the benefits of blogs in the classroom, as well as develop specific ways in which blogs can be utilized in their own classroom.
- Nature of What is to Be Learned
Participants will learn about the benefits of classroom blogging, as well as how to create and maintain their own classroom blog.
- About the Participants
Course participants are educators who are interested in learning more about utilizing blogging technology in the classroom to enhance literacy (reading) instruction. Participants will vary across grade levels, but all will teach literacy (reading) in some capacity. The degree of blogging experience will also vary in participants, ranging from those who have little experience, to those who have much experience, but are looking to integrate blogging specifically with literacy (reading) instruction.
- Instructional Content
Course participants will learn about the world of blogging in education through exploration of articles, exemplar blogs, and videos. Participants will also have the opportunity to reflect on their learning by engaging in course reflection discussions throughout the duration of the course. Course participants will also have the opportunity to develop their own blog, and related instructional activities, that will be readily available for implementation in their own instructional practices.
- Literature Support
Bogan, M.B. & Glewa, M. (2007). Improving children’s literacy while promoting digital fluency through the use of blog’s in the classroom: Surviving the hurricane. Journal of Literacy and Technology, 8(1)
Ferdig, R.E. & Trammell, K.D. (2004). Content delivery in the ‘blogosphere’. THE Journal Online: Technological Horizons in Education, February Feature
Huffaker, D. (2005). The educated blogger: Using weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. AACE Journal, 13(2), 91-98.
Course Purpose The purpose of this course is to help educators become familiar and comfortable with using blogs in their literacy classroom.
Learning Outcomes At the end of the course, participants will:
- have learned the definition and basic function of blogs
- have learned the benefits of utilizing blogs in reading
- have learned ways to encourage meaningful discussion and purposeful comments
- become aware of the dangers of blogging, and ways to safeguard against them
- Classroom educator or student educator
- Understanding of, and access to Common Core State Standards and school literacy curriculum
- Desire to integrate modern technology into the classroom to deepen student learning
- Basic Internet navigation skills
- Access to computer with Internet capability
- Access to district technology policy
- Knowledge of open-ended questions, and their role in classroom discussions
- Willingness to discuss ideas, thoughts, and questions with others
- Understanding of the importance of self-reflection as an educator (and willingness to be honest with oneself)