My class wants a blog …why???

Lots of the teachers I work with are getting into creating a class blog which is great and most of this comes after a conversation with them after I am asked “So this blog stuff, what could I do with it?”  Well how long is a piece of string???

I have found a great amount of enthusiasm from teachers comes from not only finding out how quick and easy it is to get going, but for them how they suddenly realise the potential it has as a communication tool from within the classroom to parents etc.

The simplest blog that lists what is on for the week enables parents to get an insight into what is happening with their child’s class and keeps them in touch with what they are learning and which day they need to bring their library books.  However when you scratch deeper than that with teachers, even those reluctant to engage in the use of ICT, I see the natural creativity on teachers begin to surge to the top with what the potential could be.  The whole notion of students being able to communicate, collaborate and author for an authentic audience is the big one!

So, for those of you who want to look at why the use of blogging is an effective tool in the classroom or simply want to know a bit more, I’ve listed a couple of blog posts that might be of interest to you.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, Lisa Dumicich has written some handy terminology re blogs.
This post from Anne Mirstchin explains the potential for the use of blogs with students.

And for those who want to play around a bit more, here is just a small selection of additional tools you could use to enhance your blog.  There are hundreds of these, I’m going to list my top 5.
A great way to get audio comments or digital storytelling onto your blog, there is an educational sign up as well.
Lots of our kids make great powerpoints that never see the light of day and sit on our servers, great way to get them to share their work.
Make very slick and cool videos with music form still photos – has an educational signup.
Use still images to create fantastic slideshows to share the learning happening in your classroom.

Use your google account, create maps about what is happening or what you are learning about. Great way to track the plot of a novel or learnings from a unit of work.

I’d love anyone reading this to leave a comment with their favourite tool to embed in a blog.  Hey that’s what using a blog is all about!