Week 5: Blogs and Learning

Week 5: Blogs and Learning
Blogs provide benefits for the students as well as teachers when incorporated into formal learning environments. Through student blogs, teachers can easily tap into the understanding and learning level of individual students. In my opinion, leaving a comment on a student blog is much more efficient than students passing in papers to be graded then later returned to the students for a reflection. Blogs not only allow teachers to easily communicate feedback to students, but provide students with an opportunity to respond to their teacher. Students can gather information and knowledge from while interacting with their peers.

I created a personal blog, without any real focus and without any idea of an audience, about a year ago. This informal, personal blog was simply a way for me to reflect on lessons in my classroom, gardening experiences, and my progress in training for a half-marathon: all things that I find to be of interest. In creating blogs weekly or monthly, I am able to reflect upon my teaching and the things I learn after finishing a lesson or unit. It is also a wonderful way to collect thoughts, resources, and reflections about my life, both professional and personal.

As for professional blogs from which I have found excellent information for my classroom, here are a few:
Zombie Math Teacher
Middle School Math Rules
Math = Love
{One not so professional blog, but certainly a necessity for all teachers to be aware of is heygirlteacher} šŸ™‚

I interviewed a fellow teacher at the middle school where I work in North Carolina: http://eimpagliatelli.podomatic.com/entry/2013-06-04T07_36_40-07_00



5 thoughts on “Week 5: Blogs and Learning

  1. eimpagliatelli Post author

    Amanda teaches social studies, so she would use it as a brief introduction or as background noise during an independent activity to acquaint students with various cultures and countries around the world. For example, our team organized an edible Africa map activity, and she played a station on Pandora that “mashed” together various types of African music without much preparation on her end.

    I have used PodOmatic once in another online course to create a podcast, so I figured I would try it again for this one. I really like to be seen and heard (especially if I plan to share a podcast with my students), so I like that aspect of it. It is very user-friendly in my opinion, although I use iMovie to record and simply upload the file as I am an avid Mac user.


  2. Phil

    Nice work on this podcast Erika. Interesting how the teacher you interviewed enjoys using Pandora and Animoto. I hadn’t yet heard of a teacher using Pandora. But she didn’t expand on how she uses it. Did she happen to mention that to you outside of the interview? For example, if she teaches math, does she use it to establish a connection to music (since math and music are often considered complementary). And regarding Animoto, … I’ve had students in past semesters use and I think one of the reasons they liked it was because of its ease of use. It would be interesting to know if she has a portfolio or gallery of student-generated creations (with Animoto) that she publishes (e.g., for parents).
    Also, I noticed that you used Podomatic to produce your vodcast/podcast. Was this your first time using it? Do you find it fairly intuitive and straightforward to use? Would you encourage other teachers to try it?

  3. Pingback: Week 5: Blogs and learning | Emerging Learning Technologies

  4. Karen Yarbrough

    You’re smart to point out that blogs can be more efficient for feedback and assessment. Why go through stacks of papers if you have another option? Especially considering the cost of paper and copying, electronic communication could save a lot of trees.

  5. Justin Montgomery

    Individualizing instruction, as well as differentiating it, are big buzz words in education. As you mentioned, blogs are another resource for accomplishing these instructional goals. How you point out that teacher commenting on students’ blogs as a form of constructive feedback really does seem more effective than passing back a piece of paper. For me personally, I excitedly check up on comments when people respond to my social sites: YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, to name a few. Why would students be any different? Aren’t they more wired to thrive on this kind of interactive feedback? At the same time, students will also provide quality feedback. “The instructors… minimized their own participation on the blogs… so students would not automatically cede control to the teacher as traditional ‘owner’ of the course” (Bartholomew, p. 24). I cite this quote as an extension to the idea of how teachers provide feedback. Students will contribute to the reflective and constructive feedback aspects as well. I can only imagine how you would concur about this important aspect of commenting!

    Thanks for sharing the Math = Love blog. I immediately became excited, because I was drawn into the topics written by someone like me (a newer math teacher) who is eager to learn and improve upon their practice.

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