Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Using Blogs in Education

In an effort to get a better handle on blogging and how I might use blogs as a teacher, I'm taking a knowWeeks course called 'Using Blogs in Education'. My goal is to see how I could use blogs in a distributed learning (DL) environment for high school science and math courses. I could see blogs helping my students in many ways:
1. By replying to each other's posts they would be getting the peer to peer interaction that can be difficult to achieve in a DL environment.
2. It would give them a place to work on a deeper understanding of the topics they are learning about by giving them a forum to work out their ideas.
3. It would help them to work on their metacognition (is that the right term?) -- thinking about how they think.

I'll be interested to see the blogs of the other participants in this course to see what their ideas are.


  1. Dear Claire,
    blogs can indeed be used to all the things you have mentioned in your posts. Blogs are very powerful as communication tools which also can be used to romote reflection.
    one thing that it is also very important is to provide constant feedback to the students' blog activities and set interesting challenges so they keep blogging enthusiastically. And thus contribute to each other's learning. Students like to be given a voice!

  2. I think that encouraging your students to comment on one another's work is as important as blogging itself. Knowing that others are going to read and comment on their work seems to lead to better writing and commentary.

    One of the things I find difficult, though, about the blog format is that one needs to constantly go back to the blog to see if there have been comments made. Some blogs seem to have the option to subscribe to the comments so that you get a notification when someone has added to the conversation.

  3. indeed, students become more conscious of their written productions and work harder on their blogging activities to improve the chances of getting more comments and not being criticized. Students like to do well and get recognition for their effort. NAd that is somehow what they get through the comment feature.
    You no longer have to constantly check the blog for comments. Both blogger and wordpress enable you to be notified by email about new comments. You can find this option in blogger, under the comment option in settings. In WP, it is under options >> discussion.
    But you do have to check your email quite regularly.
    I wonder if they ever considered sending it through SMS...?

  4. Hi, Claire!
    RE: adding the poll/survey. Nice and easy:
    1. go to "dashboard" (top right)
    2. click "templates" tab
    3. choose "page elements"
    4. look at right side, click on "add a page element" (window opens)
    5. have fun choosing from a variety of options: slideshow, link list, picture, polls, etc.
    Good Luck,


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