Teacher Blogs

Article written by Melissa Smith, Lifelong Learners.

Tutoring services for English (all year levels) offered in Victoria Park, Perth by a qualified teacher with a BA/BEd and MEd who has in-depth experience as a tutor.

Thousands of blogs are created everyday for different purposes. Some people blog to make money (I have friends who do this very successfully!), some to share their voice with the world, some to draw attention to perceived matters of importance and others blog just to scam or troll people.

So, what is a blog? A blog is a personal website that contains content organised like a journal or a diary. Each entry is dated, and the entries are displayed on the web page in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent entry is posted at the top. Readers catch up with blogs by starting at the top and reading down until they encounter material they’ve already read.”

A teacher blog is an online space where a teacher can share their thoughts, ideas and lesson plans with their readers. Teacher blogs are varied and differ depending on the teacher, the subject, the purpose of the blog and the student audience. I use blogging in my year 12 classroom as a teaching tool. I currently have a year 12 Politics and Law blog that my students, and others from all over Australia and the world, can access to read and discuss contemporary political events. The link is here and as you can see it is a very simple, easy to navigate blog. The tag cloud assists students to follow curriculum links and comments are encouraged. It is a free wordpress.com site and I chose this platform because of the ease I can access wordpress on any computer or my iPhone.

Currently, my use of educational blogging is limited to this and my teacher twitter @miss_mel_smith (accessible here) where I retweet interesting links and news articles to do with politics, geology or anything else relevant to education.

Having just finished a tutoring role in an Open Universities Australia unit EDC111: Living and Learning in the Digital World, I am discovering there are many other innovative ways this sort of technology can be used in a classroom.

These could include:

* Provide extension tasks for students to work on at home/out of school
* Have students write and post summaries of content covered in class to a subject blog so that can build a shared resource bank for study and revision
* Get students to do homework or weekly writing tasks as blog posts
* Encourage students to comment on each others blogs
* Use blogs for projects/assessments where students can add in videos, clips, audio, text and images
* Teachers can create a section on their blog for website links and references to relevant content online
* Use suggested activities, web games, word puzzles etc to enrich students learning with engaging experiences
* Conduct an online survey to assess or investigate your students learning needs. Survey monkey is a great tool for this
* Post  your classroom guidelines/rules and code of conduct on your classroom blog. Encourage students to review this
* Publish a list of the course objectives and/or unit outcomes so students can follow along with the relevance of the content being covered
* Use a section for classroom news. Communicate general classroom news and reminders about important dates etc. Work with students to identify what they would like to share with their parents, then engage them by assigning them the task of  writing and posting daily or weekly news updates
* Post weekly challenges such as a riddle, word puzzle or brainteaser that requires students to think creatively and critically.  Ask students to post their answers on the blog
* Post any presentations, PowerPoints, videos, teaching resources you use in class to the blog. This saves paper from printing and also means students can focus on you in class rather than struggling to write everything down

Image courtesy of Dear Teacher/Love Teacher

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 at 8:36 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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