Blogs and Wikis in the Classroom


INTRODUCTIONS


PREP TASKS

We are going to sign up for a blog and wiki space right away as sometimes the email giving you your password can take a few hours!

To sign up for a blog: http://edublogs.org/
To sign up for a wiki: http://wikispaces.com

GETTING STARTED - the broader perspective




PART A: Students as bloggers

1. Let's watch what the NSW Education Department says about blogging



Questions:
  1. What does it mean to be a "prosumer"?
  2. What does the "read/write web" mean?


2. Let's look at one classes blogging experiences:



Questions:
  1. How does the teacher ensure that students use blogging resources critically?
  2. What principles inform the teacher's approach to using blogs?

TASK 1

Spend a few minutes looking through that class blog (link below) and note down anything you think is valuable for your own experience.
Discussion.

Here is that Sydney classroom’s blog: Wormbins.
I especially love their class video on worm farms!!!

Comments about their blog:
  • Parent link - news for parents
  • copyright issue?
  • homework submission
  • interviews
  • organisation
  • filing - tagging, categories
  • breadth
  • surveys
  • interactivity
  • embedding
  • aesthetic, attractive, accessible
  • kudos for kids clearly
  • planning
  • use of multimedia = photos and videos

PART B: Teachers as bloggers

A Guided tour of my blog - http://angelaathomas.com

Some points to note:
  • My blog is quasi-professional. In inhabits several spaces - my teaching, my research, my interests as a professional, and the odd personal note. Being a blogger keeps me close to both the formal and informal discourses that surround digital worlds. It many ways, my (three) blogs are artefacts of my own personal journey and cognitive history with respect to the topics I choose to blog about.
  • The blog can be considered in the following ways: thinking out loud, a mind dump, a way to develop my own professional voice, a way to test out thoughts and ideas and get feedback, a way to informally publish some of research, a new way to think about what it is we do as professionals, a way to value my student's work, a way to experiment with new ideas (podcasting, video, audio etc..), a way to develop a professional network of like-minded colleagues, a way to share my work with friends, family, colleagues and even potential employers.

Questions:
  1. Do any of these aspects about what blogs can be resonate with what you are wanting to achieve?
  2. What elements do you think you'd like to include on your own blog?


TASK 2

Below are a series of blogs and wikis that are considered some of the best of the best in education. Spend the next 30 minutes or so wandering around them and making sense of how they work and thinking about what makes them "good". Locate one of your favourites and be ready to share and justify your choice with everybody. Questions you might ask as you tour the blogs include the following:

  • What seems to be the purpose of the blog?
  • What elements are included in the blog post? (images, links, video, audio, text?)
  • Does the blog show evidence of growth, learning, experimentation?
  • How does the blogger (or class of bloggers) create their own personal voice?
  • Are any of the blog posts of interest or benefit to you in your own teaching context, and if so what and how?


EDUBLOG AWARDS

This link will take you to the Edublog awards - lists of fantastic blogs (and wikis) voted as the best of the best for educational purposes.

GREAT ENGLISH ORIENTED BLOGS
Everyday Literacies
The English Blog
This Teaching Life...

STUDENT ASSIGNMENT
Click here and here for fantastic wiki pages created by a 2008 student about blogs in the classroom.

HOW WE USE WIKIS IN THE CLASSROOMS
Here is a wiki about wikis being used across a range of classrooms.

PODCASTS
A Pod of Poets

Blog Links:

Blogging with Students http://teachersnetwork.org/ntol/howto/incorptech/blogging.htm
Blogging Across the Curriculum http://mywebspace.quinnipiac.edu/PHastings/bac.html
Will Richardson’s blogging in the classroom site http://www.weblogg-ed.com
Bud the Teacher’s Blog http://budtheteacher.typepad.com
Old School News Student Blog http://www.oldeschoolnews.com/news
The Secret Life of Bees Blog http://weblogs.hcrhs.k12.nj.us/bees
Grandview Library Student Bloggers http://www.grandviewlibrary.org/StudentBlogs.aspx
Digital Anthology of Ms. Angala’s Exceptional Students http://digitalanthology.blogspot.com
New York City Teacher Bloggers http://groups.google.com/group/NYCTeacherBloggers
Class Blogmeisterhttp://classblogmeister.com/index.php
PS 261 Class 408 Blog
http://ps261class408.blogspot.com
The Reflective Teacher http://thereflectiveteacher.wordpress.com
The Neighborhood School’s Blog http://theneighborhoodschool.org/blog

Wiki Links:

What’s a Wiki? http://www.teachersnetwork.org/ntol/howto/incorptech/wiki.htm
High School Online Collaborative Writing: http://schools.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page
The Neighborhood School’ wiki: http://theneighborhoodschool.org/wiki
Middle School Math Wiki http://dedworthmaths.pbwiki.com
Arbor Heights Elementary School Wikis http://arborheights.wikispaces.com
Roland Elementary School Wiki http://rolandelementaryschool.pbwiki.com/FrontPage
Wiki in a K-12 Classroom http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Wiki_in_a_K-12_classroom


TASK 3

Head over to slideshare and select one of the powerpoint shows about using blogs and wikis in the classroom. Read through it and be prepared to share back the key points of the presentation.

PART C: What students are doing outside of school time

Part of my research has been to explore how teens have been using blogs to write their own fan fiction.
Spend the next 15 minutes or so reading the article in your booklets about fictional blogging and jot down anything interesting to share with everybody about what the teens were doing. Links to some of the blogs are at the end of the article if you want to check them out.

TASK 4

Time to make your own blog!

A 5 minute intro about edublogs: http://edublogs.org/eduvideos/251/5minoverview.swf
I will do a step by step tutorial with you to set up your blog. Feel free to work ahead of the class if you are confident enough. Once we have the basics started, you should try and write a post or two to experiment.

PART D: Using Wikis

What is a wiki?



Let's watch what some people are doing with wikis in their classrooms:





A student from earlier in 2009 who did this course has created a wiki project - take a look here !

PART E: A guided tour of some of my wikis


TASK 5

Time to make your own wiki!


OPTIONAL TASKS

  • Take a photo or make a video clip for your blog or wiki and embed it in!
  • Make your own twitter page, and embed the twitter feed into your blog/wiki
  • Make your own youtube channel and embed that in
  • Make your own flickr site to house images


FINISHING THE DAY

Let's share!

Please complete the feedback form in your folders to help me in future sessions, thank you!