Educator Blogs

Crews Lake Middle School Blog is a blog that seems to be chronicled by each teacher in the school.  It was actually a bit hard to navigate through Google Reader, so I went for from the site directly where I found it to be a bit easier.  Here’s the home page which lists all of the blogs that exist for their blog.  I picked this blog, not because it was good or bad, but because I think it’s important to make sure that all teacher/librarian created sites should be user friendly.  With that said there could just be something about this blog that I don’t get and it just doesn’t click for me.  Anyway, here a few teacher blogs that I thought were noteworthy.  Animation class, Star Wars, Art, Special Olympics – I find it interesting that the majority of teachers that posted blogs were those that taught artistic or creative contents.  At least that seemed to be a recurring pattern for me.

Edublogs is a blog that helps educators create user-friendly blogs for themselves, their students and co-workers/adults.  Here is an example: Professional Development.  The Why Edublog page has a plethora of information regarding the safety and ease with which educators can use this particular site. The Edublog Help and Support page shows educators how to begin creating their own blog with three free choices of blogs and their explanations for what each can do.  The Community page is a directory for existing types of blogs based on contents or professions.

Moving at the Speed of Creativity is a blog that has posted tons of pod casts related to technology, and student activities.  The home page gives access to those pod casts. Here are some I liked.  The Truth is in the Cloud, Sushi Photo Story, The Pawn Shop.  The Dymanic Duo page is the website of Kevin Honeycutt and Wesley Fryer.  Kevin Honeycutt is an education technology consultant and Wesley Fryer is a digital learning consultant.  Their bios and accomplishments can be found on this page as well.  The Speaking page allows educators to contact Honeycutt and Fryer for help, to purchase some of their materials, or to book a presentation.  The Resources page provides tutorials for Garageband, Linux, and Pod casts.

Online Class Blogs is a blog that posts interviews, news articles, and art/opera reviews and critiques that are related to online university programs.  I found this interesting to post because I never thought that anything like this would ever exist.  What a great way for prospective students to see if a program through an online university would be a good match for them.  Here are some samples I liked:  Jessica Duchen, Sandow, In the Muse.

1. How might you incorporate blogs in your classroom?

Some ways I might incorporate blogs in my classroom might be for students to be able to check daily homework, ask me or a classmate questions about assignments, share their thoughts or work with me and their peers, and possibly turn their homework in on the blog.

2. How would you share blogging with teachers or library media specialists in your building/county and encourage them to give blogs a try?

Again, I would most likely show them what other teachers/librarians have already done.  I find that if you impress someone and show them what can be done, as well as model something that is new, you get better feedback.  Teachers are already so incredibly busy that they need an extra creative push (and sometimes even I do) because to those busy frazzled educators – doing something new like blogging is just one more thing they have to worry about.

3. How might you use professional blogs for professional development?

Again, it seems that questions two and three go together.  The Edublog site would be a great way to break the ice for encouraging staff and administrators to create either their own blogs, or a school-wide blog.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Educator Blogs

  1. Sam
    It’s interesting as you say that there are so many artistic and creative people who find blogging to be an outlet they want to explore.
    I’m thinking that using blogs in my classroom might be a great way to respond to literature. I don’t want to feel that the blog is way to do something that can already be done just as well some other way. Does that make sense? I don’t want them to blog just so I can incorporate blogs. I want to make sure that it is adding value.
    Sarah

    • Sarah, it totally makes sense what you said about blogging just for the sake of blogging. It doesn’t make sense to do something with our students if isn’t worthwhile. To go off on a bit of a tangent – at the beginning of the school year, when everything is so chaotic, I like to get to know my kids as well as do a read aloud of my favorite children’s book “Skippy Jon Jones”. Not only is it funny, it gets the kids to relax a bit (some 6th graders especially need that assurance that middle school does not have to be a scary place!). I find this so much more worthwhile than doing endless ice-breaker activities – which is probably what I’m required to do instead of read to them. Shhh…don’t tell! Anyway, my point is that there’s nothing more important that making connections with and doing useful activities with students that will be memorable for them and providing them with ‘teachable moments’. Sam R.

  2. I hadn’t read your whole post before I started clicking around on Crews Lake Middle School’s blog, and I noticed the same trend that you did when it came to teachers who regularly kept up their blogs and those who did not. I noticed that some teachers hadn’t posted anything the entire year. Do you think that school districts should require teachers to post? I’m thinking that if the district has created teacher pages for all teachers than every teacher was most likely trained to use a blog.

    • I’m going out on a limb here with the initials of kaj and guessing that Kim sent this comment! If not I’m sorry! To answer your question in regards to if all teachers should be required to post blogs, I’m not sure. I think that if it is something that the whole school community is doing then yes, it would make sense that each teacher should blog. If it’s something that is a trial run to see if teachers like it, I think it’s worth a blog or two to see how things go. I know that’s pretty vague, but I just hate pinning something extra on teachers are so busy with grading and their own websites or wikis, it might end up being that one more thing they have to worry about. Sam R.

  3. I really liked your ideas on how you could use a classroom blog. I think I would also use a lot of those same ideas in my classroom blog. One area I did not think of though was turning in homework via the blog. I thought that was a pretty clever use of a blog, but I did wonder, what would happen if a student did not have access to a computer at home? It seems that a lot of school work revolves around using computers, but not every student has access to a computer. The reason I bring this up is because this week my hard drive crashed and I was without a computer and completing school work became much more difficult then it had before. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading your posts and your thoughts about classroom blogs.

  4. Nice investigating! Did you find the Moving at the Speed of Creativity blog kind of hard to navigate? I thought it was awfully busy with too much going on. Visually, there was a lot going on in the background and then there were too many videos and pictures. I never thought a blog could have too many visuals. I’ll have to be careful of that when I start a class blog.

    • Jess,
      I absolutely agree with you about Moving at the Speed of Creativity. While it had a lot of great information, it was hard to navigate and not as user friendly as other blogs/sites. I’m a very visual and tactile person so when there is so much going on with one page, I have a hard time focusing on what the point actually is. Here’s to creating user friendly and non-overwhelming blogs for our students!
      Sam R.

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