Blogging and beyond

Blogging can be used in any number of ways. It can be used to form a reading discussion forum or posting short current events articles and invite students’ thoughts. You can use it to foster communication among multiple classes or serve as a student progress log on a lab or research assignment.  Some teachers use it to post photos and homework assignments online.  No matter how you decide to use your class blog, make sure you encourage the conversation but at the same time moderate the comments.

Activities to do with your class blog with your students or school community:

  1. Post a homework question and each student writes a one-paragraph response.
  2. Start a discussion by posing a question and require that students post several times over the course of a week or curriculum unit.  Invite parents, other grades or schools to comment on student work
  3. Illustrate ideas and connections through written and visual explanations.
  4. Have students post discussion questions for the next day’s class.  This works great if you know students are having a hard time understanding a concept and they post questions they want you to review.
  5. Have students write their notes for the day.  Assign one student per day to be the scribe for the class. This is great for discussion-based classes where you want students to focus on the discussion and not have to worry about taking notes.
  6. Post progress reports on team projects.  Students can post their work to the blog so that others can see what they are doing and comment on each other’s work.
  7. Have students create their own blogs for any independent study
  8. Conversations around books:  If you know the author of a book you are reading, have students write feedback and have the author respond, if possible.
  9. Participate in a student blogging/comment challenge.  For a set period of time, challenge your students to post or comment on another student’s blog. Sample at:

Blogs are great if you are looking for an organized, formal connection with other global classrooms. Cross-country projects can open a wider world for your students while meeting lessons objectives and standards. Students can discuss global issues and compare how each country is working towards solving the problem. Students can share informational links on how they are making a difference or simply just learn more global issues

Organized programs:

  • Taking IT Global Online community of youth interested in global issues and creating positive change.
  • iEarn International Education and Resource Network:  A non-profit global network that enables teachers and students to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.
  • ePals K-12 online community that safely connect, collaborate and build community across 200 countries and territories.
  • Youthink! gears international development issues to a youth audience and encourages young people to get involved in solutions to global problems, such as HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, and gender inequality.
  • Global SchoolNet: Focus is to develop literacy and communication skills, foster teamwork and collaboration, encourage workforce preparedness and create multi-cultural understanding.

These social networks are great places to start looking for teachers who have planned a project and need collaborators, or just a place to see other projects and how they work.

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