Daily Archives: June 11, 2013

Week 5 Summary – Group 1

It was an interesting week reading blogs, reviewing articles, and listening to the podcasts.  Across all of the resources this week, it was easy to find encouragement, strategies, and tips for integrating technology in the classroom today.

From the articles and blogs…

Courtney does a nice job summarizing the overall key points the Tech Trends article, “Educational Blog Management Strategies and Tools”, for any educators who want to start a blog, “For a blog to be successful, the educator must: 
1) …set up strategies
 2) …give strong examples
 [and] 3) …foster extended conversations through heavy teacher engagement early-on.”

Cheryl found commonalities between the formal and informal blogs with her observations that blogs permit a space to a journal of thoughts, ideas, and reflections; offer a method to exchange information; create the ability to build connections to others through collaboration; remove isolation by encouraging socialization; and sanctions a reflective environment for consideration of the information.

Marie’s takeaways from the blogs are particularly relevant for all teachers looking towards the application of blogs in the classroom with their students.  She states, “these technologies may be new to students; …it is important to teach the idea of proper posts and comments; …we need to spend time teaching students how to disagree with other views in a respectful way; …[and] we need to remember to reinforce the idea that what they write on public blogs will be seen by many, which will require careful monitoring on our part!”

Jordan offers his most important observation when he discusses that for those teachers who are pondering the use of blogs for learning in their classrooms, they should consider encouraging the free expression of ideas, create an environment for students to express their opinions in a public forum and still feel safe enough to express an opinion that may be unconventional or unpopular, and urge “commentary that is point-counterpoint rather than criticism”.

From the podcasts…

Courtney’s interview with Beth Wilmus, a foreign language teacher at her school, offers an enlightening perspective on using students’ own devices within the classroom for those who are interested in BYOD.

Cheryl’s interview with Jennifer Wiley, a 7th grade teacher at her daughter’s middle school, reminds us as educators that we must remember to consider scaffolding and differentiation “even with technology”.

Marie’s interview with Mike Hammel, one of her district’s technology integration coaches, reminds and challenges to teachers to create “…more opportunities for students to take content to a higher level…” (around 5:30).

Jordan’s interview with Dara Wheeler Ford, who teaches a few Nutrition courses at Penn State, does some pretty interesting stuff with Web 2.0 in her classes and has learned that technological tools often place permit a real-world context for what they were learning in class, facilitate a quicker application of their lessons, inspire personal motivation, and create connections with both the community and learning process.

All of the advice from the articles, blogs, and podcasts is an opportunity to learn from the experience and wisdom of others that is valuable to anyone who takes the moment to explore, question, and investigate.

Week 5: Group 2 Summary

Hannah Inzko expressed her appreciation for Bartholomew’s realistic approach and perspective regarding course blogging. She points out that the article addressed many basic concerns shared by many educators when organizing a class blog, such as the forced letting go of control in order to allow the blog to work successfully. Hannah also mentioned a fact about questioning or experimenting about classroom ideas something that I have noticed; no matter how obscure that question you have may be, someone else has usually asked it before! Typing words like “how does” or “what has” into the google search bar and waiting for autofill’s suggestions will quickly prove that! 🙂

 raised the question of defining proper usage of blogging as an educational tool. I completely agree with his point that he made about setting clear expectations and modeling appropriate behavior in order to encourage students to meet the needs of using the blog as an educational tool. I agree that showing students and talking with them about how to post publicly on the Internet, or privately within a class blog, will help them meet the expectations teachers have for using blogs.

 mentioned her appreciation for some of the features on a LMS (such as Angel, used for PSU’s online courses) such as the organization of new posts. She also pointed out that there are various formats for blogs and means of using blogs, all of which are appropriate for various groups of students or people, depending on the overarching purpose for the blog. She also mentioned that a blog may help hold people accountable for following through on goals, experiments, or ideas that they may have in their head. A blog would be an excellent middle ground between an idea in your head and actually creating or doing something, which involves the whole worldwide web audience knowing your plan and sometimes ensuring that you “stick with it”.

Thank you for the fabulous comments and ideas regarding how to use blogging in the classroom and possibly (separately) on a more personal level, as well 🙂