GROUP B

Learning Activity 4-C-1


TOPIC: Uses of Blogs in the Classroom

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What is a Blog?


A Weblog, commonly referred to as a blog, is "an easily created, easily updateable Web site that allows an author (or authors) to publish instantly to the Internet from any Internet connection" (Richardson, 2010). A blog provides an easy way to share ideas and resources on the web without having prior knowledge of code or FTP. Publishing material on a blog becomes as easy as setting up an account, writing what you want to say, and then posting it for others to see. In many cases, blogs are updated every day allowing followers to access up-to-date information quickly. Traditional websites are often criticized due to their lack of updates. It is not uncommon for blogs to be updated three or four times a day. Part of this updating occurs because blogs demand interaction. They provoke readers with ideas and links that encourage responses. Being able to connect with others via links and resources is one of the great strengths that blogs provide to their users. Blogs are not limiting. They can be very much like a Web site. You can add videos, photographs, audio files, or other media of your choice. Many blog sites even offer the blogger a personalized site that can be created in a matter of minutes. This makes it easy for the novice blogger to start a professional and personalized blog quickly.


Advantages of Blogs


  • Easily created
  • Easily updated
  • Enhances and deepens learning
  • Increases exposure to abundant information
  • Promotes analytical and analogical thinking
  • Gives students a sense of ownership


Disadvantages of Blogs


  • Users of blogs may choose to make inappropriate choices and use reckless behavior
  • Some students may not have access to the Internet outside of school
  • Students may not feel comfortable putting comments online for anyone (or other classmates) to read


Blog Safety


  • Freedom to choose the content to be portrayed on a blog is an advantage to most users; however, it can pose safety hazards to those who become reckless. When working with students in the educational setting, it is important to set up guidelines and be clear about expectations. First, teachers need to make sure that they have obtained proper permissions for using online media. In the elementary school setting, it is recommended that students use only first names or initials. It is important to teach children that they should never publish personal information about themselves or anyone else that they know. Talking to parents and other educators about the safety of using weblogs can also increase knowledge and enable everyone involved to participate in monitoring content on students sites. It is also important for students to know how to obtain help from their teacher or other leaders when they encounter a problem online.


Resources for Educators




Blogs in the Classroom


Blogs in the Classroom Examples


References


Richardson, Will. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. Corwin Press.


Credits


Blog Mouse: "6 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog For Your WHAM Business." (30 Aug. 2012). Retrieved 5 Oct. 2012. http://www.missyward.com/2012/08/30/reasons-to-start-your-wahm-business-blog/